Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:
Here you will find all of the Newb Computer Build Gaming PC Builds for the month for October 2011. This month, I have combined all three (< $500, $500 – $1000, & $1000 – $1500) gaming builds into this one article. I had a few reasons for doing so, and wanted to try and make it easier for you (as the user) to browse, and me (as this articles writer) to score higher for SEO, and overall article quality. If you have any questions you may comment or send me a message via my contact form.
As per usual I have included all three Gaming PC Builds to best fit three specific budgets – less than $500, $500 to $1000, and $1000 to $1500. All of these builds include hardware chosen based on changed that have recently went on in terms of prices, releases, and reviews. Now for the first Gaming PC Build…
Monthly Gaming PC Build (< $500 ): October 2011
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz AM3 125W
|Motherboard: MSI AM3 AMD 870-G45 ATX Motherboard
|Graphics Card: HIS Radeon HD 6770 1 GB (128 bit)
|RAM: Crucial 4GB 2GBx2 240-pin PC3-10600 DIMM DDR3 Memory KIT
|Hard Drive: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500 GB
|Power Supply: Corsair Builder Series CX600 600 watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
|Computer Case: Raidmax Tornado ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
|Optical Drive: Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
|Estimated Price: $ 496
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( < $500 )
I am very excited this month for the under $500 Gaming PC Build. This build really is really all about getting as much computing power for your buck as you can get. I have upgraded the CPU from the previous AMD Athlon II X3 450, to the AMD II X4 955 Black Edition. In my opinion this is a huge improvement; especially for the cost.
The processor is also not the only piece of hardware that got a huge improvement, I have also changed the previous graphics card the Radeon HD 6670 for the Radeon HD 6770 (aka. 5770). With this combination (CPU + Graphics card) at this price, you cannot go wrong if you are on a budget. This gaming pc build should be able to play most games right now pretty decently.
In order to make room in terms of price, I have also changed the motherboard from the previous MSI AM3 870A-G54 motherboard to the MSI AM3 870-G54 motherboard. This is not much of a difference, and it saves ad addition $10 or so. The optical drive was changed from the Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive to the Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Drive due to reviews, and product availability. Finally. I have swapped the previous Thermaltake V4 Black Edition Case for the Raidmax Tornado ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case ATX-238WR which saves approx. $12. The Raidmax case is a great case, looks really good, and includes all of the basics. All of these changes I believe are very budget conscious, and are highly recommended if you are trying to squeeze as much raw power as you can get out of a Gaming PC Build.
Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware
I am happy to be able to include the AMD Phenom II X4 955 in the less than $500 gaming pc build. This processor has one of the best value – “bang for your buck” gaming processors out there (I even use it!). It has an unlocked multiplier making it very easy to overclock – which can make this processor scream, a large L3 cache of 8MB, and comes stock at 3.2GHz as a Quad Core.
The AMD MSI 870-G45 motherboard is a budget gaming motherboard at its finest. It comes with the built in ability to overclocking capability using an “Auto-BIOS” detection which could be very helpful for any OC newbs. You can also have up to 16GB of RAM and 2 PCIEx16 cards (such as graphics cards).
The HIS Radeon HD 6770 is (like the Phenom II X4 955 processor) simply one of the best bang for your buck graphics cards; again this is also what I use. This particular grpahics card features Microsoft DirectX 11 Support, AMD Eyefinity Technology, AMD HD3D Technology, Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology, 2nd Generation TeraScale Engine, and AMD CrossFireX Technology.
I have used this Crucial 4GB memory pack in the last 2 gaming pc builds of under $500, and I am going to again! This memory package is so hard to beat as it currently only costs around $26 for 4GB of memory. If you so wanted, you could double that up and get 8GB of RAM for $52.
Like the crucial RAM I talked about just above, I have used this Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB hard drive for the past 2 pc builds of the month for under $500 here at Newb Computer Build. Why? Because Western Digital provides quality, and 500GB is a great start for any gamer. The thing is if you ever fill you harddrive up you can always purchase a larger drive down the line. So I recommend the Western Digital Scorpio Blue instead of a cheaper less reputable company that offer more hard drive space for your money.
Last month, I had used the Corsair 650W Enthusiast series power supply unit, but have changed this month to the Corsair Builder Series 600W PSU. There are two reasons for this: You save quite a bit switching to 600W PSU, and 600W is plenty of power. I was debating going for a higher wattage cheaper PSU, but you should not skimp in brand when it comes to the unit that powers every piece of hardware in your computer, and 600W is plenty.
I made the switch from The Cooler Master Elite Mid Tower Case to the Raidmax Tornado shown here. The Raidmax is not a company that is as well known as Cooler Master, but this case offers quality for only $29. This case offers front USB 2.0 ports, front fan to cool your hard-drive(s), blue LED power status, and a large 120mm rear exhaust fan. Not to mention, looks pretty good with it’s blue LEDs and RED outline.
The Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive was the optical drive used in previous builds because of the price. However this month I changed to the Lite-On-LightScribe DVD drive shown here because of its many positive reviews, and the product availability of the Asus drive has seemed to diminish. However, if you happen to be debating between the two drives and find another Asus, go by price as both of these are quite comparable.
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $500 – $1000 ): October 2011
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Estimated Price: $982
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $500 – $1000 )
This month I have made two major changes: One I have swapped the Intel Core i5-2400 processor for the Intel Core i5-2500K processor, and I have swapped the HIS Radeon HD 6950 Turbo 2GB Graphics card for the PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Graphics Card.
The reason I am opting for the Intel Core i5-2500K processor is because of the slight speed increase it has over the i5-2400 (200 Mhz), and the overclocking ability of the unclocked CPU. I could not pass this up this month as having this ability makes the 2500K worth it. You can further future proof your gaming pc build by having this ability, further increase the power if you need too, and can just have fun with your ability to do so.
I swapped the HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB graphics card for the PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Graphics Card because I thought that within the $500 – $1000 it was worth it. There is by no means any sort of a problem if you decide to still go with the Radeon HD 6950, but if you budget allow for up to $1000, it may be worth the $40 or so to go for the GTX570 instead.
As for the rest fo the hardware most of the basics have stayed the same (harddrive, RAM), but like the less than $500 gaming pc build I changed the optical drive brand to Lightscribe, and I have also switched the Computer case from the previous Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case to the Cooler Master SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Storm Scout computer case, because of its sex appeal – kidding! But this case does look good, is solid, a tad more pricy, and I always like to switch up computer cases because of the individuality each quality case can bring to a gaming rig.
Overview: Additions / Part Swaps
I have included these Additions / Parts Swap as these could be parts that may either be better suited for specific individuals, or those who can extend their budget a little further.
Note: Total Prices = Total for Whole Gaming PC Build with the addition / replacement.
This months addition / hardwar swaps for the $500 – $1000 gaming pc build go over and above the $1000 allotted for this build. This is because the base build for this month is at an estimated $982, which makes it really close to $1000. The following hardware parts are simply to give you an idea of what else you may want to add if you can spare the extra cash, or want to upgrade later on.
|Add a SSD Boot Drive: OCZ Technology 60 GB Agility 3 SATA III Sold State Drive = ~$1078 Total Price
|Add a Blu-Ray Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30 12X SATA BLU-RAY BURNER = ~$1043 Total Price
|More Hard Drive Space: Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM X2 = 2TB Space = ~$1042 Total Price
|More RAM (16GB): Get 2X instead of one Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit = ~$1040 Total Price
Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware
The Intel 2500K is a great pick for a gaming pc build, because of it’s unclocked CPU multiplier. What this means is you can overclock this great Sandy Bridge gaming CPU to get it’s full potential. It has been said time and time again that this is the #1 choice of processor amongst gamers at this point in time. You could spend more and get the Intle i7-2600K, but for gaming purposes you will see a very little increase in performance.
I had used the ASRock P67 Extreme4 B3 Motherboard in the previous month as it has so much potential for a great gaming motherboard. This board pack allot of punch and is a perfect pairing for the Intel i5-2500K Processor. The AsRock Extreme4 B3 Motherboard includes Memory: 4x 240pin DDR3 Dual Channel, non-ECC, unbuffered, Max Capacity Up to 32GB Slots: 3x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slots((Support ATI Quad/3-Way/CrossFireX and nVidia Quad SLI/SLI); 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots; 2x PCI Slots, SATA: 4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID and much much more! You may click the link above to read more of the technical details.
I made the swap this month from the HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB graphics card to this PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 graphics card. This card will amaze any gamer as with just this one discrete card you will be able to achieve fantastic 1920×1200 resolution gaming results and even be able to game at 2560×1600 resolutions on higher settings.
Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit has many positive reviews as a memory supplier. With 8GB of memory so low nowadays, there is almost no excuse not to get it within this range of budget.
As per usual, I am using the Western Digital Caviar Blue line of hard drives due to their quality and consumer reviews. This one in particular is 1TB in size, and should last until you need another 1TB of space for more games! If you are feeling keen, I have also provided a solid state hard drive in the additions / parts swap section above, which may make booting your OS and a select couple of games very quick!
The Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt power supply has more than enough juice to power this entry level gaming PC, and Corsair has always been a great power supply company. I have used this PSU with most of my builds.
I decided to choose this Cooler Master Storm Scout computer case this month because of the gaming appeal I think it has. It includes carrying handles, an on/off switch for the integrated fan LED internal fan lights, steel reinforced, and even includes a “stealth transparent side window with 40% automotive tinting” with aggressive side intakes that include optional mounting for 2 more 120mm fans.
I used the the Lite-On-LightScribe DVD drive this month because of its many positive reviews, and the product availability of the Asus drive has seemed to diminish. Most DVD drives are comparable these days, so if you find one around this same price, or would splurge a bit more you could also get a blu-ray drive / burner as stated in the Additions / Part Swaps shown previously above.
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1000 – $1500 ): October 2011
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor 3.4GHz
|Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 <REV 3.0> ATX Motherboard
|Graphics Card: 2X Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Graphics Card in CrossFire
|RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit
|Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SSD Hard Drive: OCZ Technology 60 GB Agility 3 SATA III Sold State Drive
|Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-950TX 950-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
|Computer Case: NZXT Crafted Series ATX Full Tower Steel Chassis – Phantom White
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30 12X SATA BLU-RAY BURNER
|Estimated Price: $ 1500 (on the dot)
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 – $1500 )
For the $1000 – $1500 Gaming PC Build there are no major changes, but a few minor tweaks. One large change would be switching over to 2x Radeon HD 6870s in CrossFire as this saves an estimated $40 over the previous GTX 560’s which perform similarly.
I have included an LG Blu-Ray burner instead of just a Blu-Ray drive, and have also swapped the computer cases from the previous Cooler Master Advanced Full Tower Case, to the very sleek NZXT Crafted Series ATX Full Tower Phantom White computer case.
Overview: Additions / Part Swaps
These additions will go over the allotted price of $1500 for the $1000 – $1500 gaming pc build, and are shown here to give you an idea of what you can get over and above what is already included in the build, or ideas for future upgrades.
Note: Total Prices are Total for Whole Gaming PC Build with the addition / replacement
|CPU Cooler: Corsair Cooling Hydro-Series All-in-One High-Performance Liquid CPU Cooler = ~$1566 Total Price
|More RAM (16GB): Get 2X instead of one Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit = ~$1558 Total Price
|Modual PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 80 Plus Silver Certified 1050-Watt Power Supply = ~$1714 Total Price
|Larger SSD: Kingston Digital 96 GB Now V+100 SATA 2 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive = ~$1635 Total Price
Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware
Is the Intel Core i7-2600K Processor overkill for a gaming pc build? Yep! But if you can spare it, and it is within your budget go for it! The Intel Core i7-2600K will be kicking gaming but for a long time to come so you can be assured you have made a good purchase that will last with this one. However, if you want to save a little bit of cash, going with an Intel i5-2500K would suffice just as well.
Like last month I chose the ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 LGA 1155 Motherboard. The follow are this motherboard’s technical specifications: 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, 3 PCI Express x1, and 1 PCI slot. 4 SATA 3Gb/s, 2 xSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (brown) by P67, and 2 xSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (gray) by Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller. Realtek ALC892 with 8 channels of Audio, 8 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, and 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0 on board USB.
Unlike last months 2X EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Cards, I have chosen to go with 2 of the (similarly matched) Sapphire Radeon HD 6870s in CrossFire. These will kick but at 2560X1600 resolution in most games!!
The Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit is the exact kit I have used for both the $500 – $1000 & the $1000 – $1500 gaming pc builds last month and this month – This is because 8GB of RAM is plenty, and these are well reviewed and priced.
Again, the Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue is a great harddrive under a quality brand. This hard drive when paired with the OCZ Solid State Drive below, would be a great combination to store and run your most played games off of. This 1TB Western Digital has plenty of room (until you need more – then you can simply purchase a separate hard drive) and the Solid State Drive can be used to store your OS and a few of your most played games for quick access.
The OCZ Technology 60 GB Agility 3 SATA III Sold State is a great boot up disk drive. That is you can store your operating system on this for faster boot times, and perhaps a game or two for quick loading times of those. You may need a larger SSD though if you want to put larger / more games on it as this one is only 60GB. Luckily I have included one in the Additions / Parts Swaps section above.
I use this Corsair series of power supplies in allot of my builds I post here because it is simply one of the best PSU brands. This one in particular can supply up to 950 Watts, which is plenty to run this gaming build.
Last month I used the The Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case in the $1000 – $1500 gaming pc build, however this month I wanted to go with the similarly priced NZXT Phantom White case (also in black). This case looks amazing (almost futuristic), and I always thought that my next gaming PC build would include this case. It has a 7 fan capability, large expansions, five 20W per channel fan control totalling 100W, and the cooling system includes a front 1x140mm, side 1x200mm, 2x120mm (included), rear 1x120mm (included), and a top 2x200mm (1xBlue Led 200mm included)
I swapped the regular Blu Ray drive included last month for this LG Blu-Ray Burner. This way you do not have to restrict your gaming pc to just games, you can pop in those blu ray movies, back up PS3 disks (if you have one…), or burn Blu-Ray media!
This month I have included all three Gaming PC Builds of the month into one page, and it is my hope that it is not too difficult to digest and read. If you prefer it to be split up like before, or have a different format in mind please let me know. Otherwise…
If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to leave a comment or message me. As well, if you have any other suggestions for hardware that would fit into these October 2011 Gaming builds of the month, then let me know via comment!