Gaming PC Builds of the Month: December 2012

December 2012 Gaming PC Builds:

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December 2012 Gaming PC Builds

Introduction:

Welcome to the last set of gaming PC builds of the month for 2012! It has been an exciting year and we will be back for the 2013 edition of the Gaming PC Builds of the Month. This month I decided to include a little treat with the inclusion of a $2000 build just as an end of the year treat and due to a small request made.

Next year, Intel is supposed to release their new Haswell processors which are supposed to slash power consumption and are based on the current line of Intel’s Ivy bridge processors. Other then that keep checking back in the new year if you are wanting to build a new gaming PC or just keep up to date with the latest builds.

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$500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $528 ): December 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: $125.49
Motherboard: MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 and USB 3.0/A and GbE/MicroATX Motherboard B75MA-E33
Price: $59.99
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti SSC 1024MB GDDR5 128bit, Dual Dual-Link DVI, Mini HDMI, Graphics Card (01G-P4-3652-KR) Graphics Cards 01G-P4-3652-KR
Price: $143.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $38.32
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX
Price: $59.99
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply Price: $40.59
Computer Case: NZXT Technologies Source 210 Computer Case (Black)
Price: $39.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $ 528.15 

Overview: $500 Gaming PC Build

The $500 build for December is actually priced at $528 as of December 1st, 2012. I have it a little higher this month to accommodate a few changes that if I were to build a $500 gaming PC this month, I would personally consider important. This month we have the addition of the new GTX 650 Ti graphics cards which took place of the previous Radeon 7770, which should warrant a considerable performance increase all while using much less power; as you can see below in the “$500 Build Performance” when compared to last months $500 build, there is a significant increase in performance when using the GTX 650 Ti.

As for the rest, we have included the Intel Core i3-3220 processor again as the $500 build processor, and get kept everything else except for the PC case the same. The NZXT PC case was chosen since its reputation precedes last months case and it was only about $3 more in December.

$500 Build Performance –

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i3-3220 processor and the GTX 650 Ti graphics card – http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5104887

 

GTX 650 Ti and Intel i3 3220

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: $125.49

This Intel Core i3-3220 is the perfect choice for a budget gaming PC build and when paired with the GTX 650 Ti graphics card this month, you may be surprised at the amount of performance this gaming PC will be willing to squeeze out.

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

Technical Details:

  • L3 Cache
  • Ivy Bridge
  • Socket 1155

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

This motherboard was chosen last month for its affordability and to accommodate 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

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti SSC 1024MB GDDR5 128bit, Dual Dual-Link DVI, Mini HDMI, Graphics Card (01G-P4-3652-KR) Graphics Cards 01G-P4-3652-KR Price: $143.99

The very new GTX 650 Ti graphics card is a significant jump from the previous Radeon 7770, and you will notice the performance increases! The only downfall is that I had to push the total price for the $500 build to around $528 to fit this bad boy in – but I would not have done it if it was not worth it.

Technical Details:

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

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $38.32

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: $59.99

Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue
Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue

I keep the $500 with a 500Gb hard drive, because I believe it is a nice sweet spot for a gamer looking to purchase a PC on a budget. 500Gb is plenty of space for many many a game. So without overshooting too much, I have again included the 500Gb Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive.

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: $40.59

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

Technical Details:

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

NZXT Technologies Source 210 Computer Case (Black) Price $39.99

Last month I used more of a generic Apex PC case, which is actually priced great for what you get, however this month I thought since this reputable NZXT case was only $4 higher in price to just go for this one. That way you can be further assured you will have a nice safe house to store all that hardware in based on a reputable brand.

Technical Details:

  • Bottom Mounted PSU ? Positioned for the most effective PSU ventilation
  • Wire Management Support ? 20mm space for a neat and easy build
  • Aluminum Textured Panel ? Accents the chassis for a clean, modern look and feel
  • Dual 120mm Front Intake ? Takes advantage of front facing HDD bays for excellent airflow
  • CASE TYPE Mid Tower Steel / FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic / Aluminum-like finish /DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 195mm x 440mm x 495.5mm
  • COOLING SYSTEM FRONT, 2 X 120mmREAR, 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (included)TOP, 1 X 140mmBOTTOM, 1 x 120mm
  • DRIVE BAYS 3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS 8 INTERNAL 3.5″ HDD Drives / WEIGHT 6.5kg /MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT ATX, MICRO-ATX
  • VGA Clearance Maximum 230mm w/ hard drive, 330mm w/o hard drive /CPU Heatsink Support 160mm / Wiring Space 20mm

 

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

Optical drives have now dropped back down in price by $8 or $7 which is good. The Lite-On series of optical drives is never a bad choice and a current drive I use myself without any troubles.

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 ( $999): December 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: $214.99
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1) Price: $31.19
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME4 $155.82
Graphics Card: Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 Graphic Card GV-R787OC-2GD
Price: $239.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $38.32
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $77.95
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX750M)
Price: $112.51
Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 – Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 Ports (RC-922M-KKN3-GP)
Price: $99.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $999

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

Not too many notable changes for the $1000 build once again, but I did make a couple of changes to take in account for price changes. I have switched to a Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 graphics card , added in the popular Cooler Master HAF 922 PC case and with an extra $30 or so to spend, I have now included the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler in both the $1000 and the $1500 build this month.

$1000 Build Performance –

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i5-3570K processor and the Radeon HD 7870 graphics card –  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4093212

 

3570K and Radeon HD 7870

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K Price: $214.99

Intel 3570K Prcoessor

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

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

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

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

Product Details: *From Intel

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

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1) Price: $31.19

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: $155.82

The AsRock EXTREME 4 motherboard is being used for both of the $1000 & $1500 PC builds. This is because this motherboard will easily overclock your Intel 3570K and comes with all the features you will most likely need. By including this very affordable AsRock Motherboard, I am able to allocate more money towards the graphics cards to further gaming performance potential.

Interested in reading a nice review – Check out the overclockersclub review

Product Details:

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

Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 Graphic Card GV-R787OC-2GD Price: $239.99

I have switched to the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 graphics card this month due to some price increases. This card is the number one purchased and best value graphics card in the $200 – $300 price ranges. This Gigabyte card in particular comes with a great array of connection ports too – 2 mini display – HDMI and a DVI port.

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:

  • Ultra Durable VGA Components – GPU Temperature 5%-10% Down – Overclocing Capability 10%-30% Up – Power Switching Loss 10%-30% Down
  • WINDFORCE 3X Anti-Turbulence Cooling with New Triangle Cool Technology
  • Gold Plated HDMI for optimum signal transfer between connections
  • Features DVI-I/HDMI/2x mini-Display port outputs with HDCP protection
  • Supports AMD Eyefinity/Eyespeed/CrossFire/Avivo HD Technologies
  • Minimum Recommended Power Supply 500W or greater with 2x 6-pin VGA power connectors

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $38.32

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

Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive Price: $77.95

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

Product Details

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

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX750M) Price: $112.51

This 750 watt solid PSU is a great choice for this $1000 gaming pc build. It will support all of the hardware no problem and allows plenty of room for adding hardware later on.

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.

Cooler Master HAF 922 – Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 Ports (RC-922M-KKN3-GP) Price: $99.99

The Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower PC case is one of the most purchased and popular cases for a long time now. This is most likely due to its reputation of being a quality material and built case as well as the case have a great gaming PC case look. Plenty of room for all the hardware included in this build, great cooling and more.

Technical Details

  • Extreme cooling performance that support up to seven cooling fans top to bottom as well as accommodates three 200 x 30mm fans at minimized noise
  • CPU Cooler retaintion hole cutout design for quick CPU Cooler installation.
  • LED ON/OFF switch for front 200x30mm fan. Black interior
  • Patented button design for easy maintenance of 5.25¿ drive devices.
  • I/O panel offers two USB 3.0 ports, one 3.5 mm headphone input, one 3.5 mm microphone input, and one eSATA port

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

Optical drives have now dropped back down in price by $8 or $7 which is good. The Lite-On series of optical drives is never a bad choice and a current drive I use myself without any troubles.

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 = + $107
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 Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 Graphic Card GV-R787OC-2GD = + $259.99  Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock Intel 3570K): EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler M020-00-000234 = + $51.99 This cooler is rated to perform slightly better then the cooler master hyper 212 evo.

Additions / Part Swaps Overview

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

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $1431 ): December 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: $214.99
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1)
Price: $31.19
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME4
Price: $155.82
Graphics Card: Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G
Price: $414.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
Price: $67.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $77.95
SSD Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR240GB-DX)
Price: $179.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX850M)
Price: $130.32
Computer Case: Rosewill White Edition Gaming ATX Full Tower Case for Computer THOR V2-W
Price: $139.95
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $1431

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

The least changed build of the month is the $1500 one. There have been no notable hardware releases in the higher end of hardware and prices have been pretty stable. I did however switch the case up to a Corsair Carbide Series White 500R

$1500 Build Performance –

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i5-3570K processor and the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card –  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4792768

Intel i5 3570k and Radeon HD 7970

 

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 – BX80637I53570K Price: $214.99

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: $31.19

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: $155.82

The AsRock EXTREME 4 motherboard is being used for both of the $1000 & $1500 PC builds. This is because this motherboard will easily overclock your Intel 3570K and comes with all the features you will most likely need. By including this very affordable AsRock Motherboard, I am able to allocate more money towards the graphics cards to further gaming performance potential.

Interested in reading a nice review – Check out the overclockersclub review

Product Details:

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

Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G Price: $414.99

Used again this month and even a nice drop in price by about $10. 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: $67.99

2x 8GB = 16GB RAM kits have been dropping in price month to month and are becoming so increasingly affordable there really is no reason not to get 16GB of RAM in a build in this price range.

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: $77.95

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

Performance Details:

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

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR240GB-DX) Price: $179.99

Solid States drives are so much affordable now and with 240GB of space sto store your operating system and a bunch of most played games is perfect. 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 Series TX 850 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX850M) Price: $130.32

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

Product Details:

  • 80PLUS Bronze certified, delivering up to 85% energy efficiency at real world load conditions.
  • A dedicated single +12V rail offers maximum compatibility with the latest components.
  • An ultra-quiet double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varying fan speed 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

Rosewill White Edition Gaming ATX Full Tower Case for Computer THOR V2-WPrice: $139.95

This is one of the first Rosewill cases I have included in the monthly builds. The THOR V2 case is very pleasing on the eyes, built solid and comes with all the extras one could possible want (screw less design, dist filters, USB 3.0 connectors etc).

Product Details

Named after a powerful but arrogant warrior, the Rosewill THOR V2-W gaming ATX full tower computer case has a stately aesthetics and functional design for enthusiasts and hard-core gamers. Spacious interior with E-ATX / XL-ATX motherboard support, tremendous air flow and rock solid construction are the main appealing features. Also included are other advanced features such as advanced cable management, screw-less design for 3.5-Inch/5.25-Inch drives, bottom-placed PSU design with dust filter, water cooling support making the Rosewill THOR V2-W a second to none choice for your next PC. Two USB 3.0 connectors and one eSATA port at top of the chassis enable blazing fast data exchange with the latest digital devices.

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

Optical drives have now dropped back down in price by $8 or $7 which is good. The Lite-On series of optical drives is never a bad choice and a current drive I use myself without any troubles.

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=  $314.99 (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 = + $415
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) = + $86.67
Larger SSD: Crucial 512 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT512M4SSD2 = + $398 ($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.


$2000 Gaming PC Build for December 2012

 (A $2000 PC Build as an additional special build treat for December!)

Ultimate Gaming PC Build ( $2000 ): December 2012

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600 and HIGHER – 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 i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 8 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80637I73770K
Price: $314.99
 
 
 
 
 
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1)
Price: $31.19
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME4
Price: $155.82
Graphics Card: Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G
Price: $414.99 X 2 = $829.98 (Two Cards in CROSSFIRE)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
Price: $67.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $77.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
SSD Hard 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
Price: $108.94
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX850M)
Price: $130.32
Computer Case: Corsair Obsidian Series Black 650D Mid Tower Computer Case (CC650DW-1)
Price: $189.49
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $2007

Overview: Ultimate Gaming PC Build ( $2000 )

The first month ever to include a $2000 build of which I am assigning the Ultimate Build title. I thought that as a special end of the year treat I would include this $2000 build for anyone wanting to go all out. What you may notice is that allot of the hardware used is similar to that of the other builds and this is only because I like to recommend hardware that I would personally use, so there is not much point in switching up things like hard drives or RAM if there is no reason to increase their sizes etc.

First off, I have included an Intel i7-3770K. Some may debate me on why I would do this in a gaming PC build – to which I would respond – why wouldn’t you if you are spending $2000 plus on a PC. Some may still opt for an Intel i5 3570K and pump the rest of the cash into perhaps a GTX 690 (priced at about a $1000), but in the end you are probably going to geta  nice solid over all performance out of two already great graphics card – The Radeon 7970 and an i7 3770K.

All I had in mind when thinking of what I would put into a $2000 build was what would create the most powerful PC possible – not how can I afford the most expensive PC case, how much can I spend on higher inflated SSD’s, or even splurging on 32Gb of memory, which would warrant no performance gains in comparison.

Have questions on a specific peice of hardware that you would change or add, then please leave a comment below.

$2000 Build Performance –

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i7-3770K processor and the (2X) Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards –  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4303530

Intel 3770K and two Radeon HD 7970's


Concluding December 2012’s Gaming PC Builds:

A great end to the 2012 year of monthly gaming pc builds and I look forward to continuing them throughout the 2013 year, so please keep checking back.

I hope you enjoyed what has been done so far and I hope to further increase the site in any way possible, so if you have any input on any types of articles or features you would like to see on Newb Computer Build, then please let me know!!

Happy holidays,

Corey @ Newb Computer Build

December 2012’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

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Corey

Hello, my name is Corey and I run Newb Computer Build - A site where you can come learn about the Gaming Hardware you need in order to run the latest PC games: Check out the Monthly Gaming PC Builds. If you have any input or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. Google+

54 thoughts to “Gaming PC Builds of the Month: December 2012”

  1. Hi!

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! I wanted to let you know I am building the 1500$ machine. I had to make some changes because the shop didn’t carry or didn’t have some of the components in stock. Here is a list of the changes and if it isn’t specified here I have purchased every single item that is part of the build:

    Processor: upgraded to i7-3770K
    RAM: Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PVI316G186C0K (any good?)
    Case: Went with the one from the 2000$ build, Corsair 650D
    Optical Drive: LG BH14NS40 (want Blu-ray)

    On a side note, I opted to go with a BenQ XL2420T and Audioengine 5+ instead of a single 27” monitor upgrade.

    One last thing, I have never owned an SSD before. I was wondering if you have any tips concerning BIOS configurations, windows 7 installation and settings.

    Again, thank you so very much for the recommendations and hard work making the builds!

    1. Hello retronaute,

      Congrats on going with the $1500 build! Everything looks great. That Patriot Intel Extreme Masters RAM seems to have a good rap going for it, although never used it myself. How much more did you have to spend opting for the Patriot RAM and the Intel 3770L i7? And I hope you are happy your BenQ, I have been with mine!

      As per the SSD, just make sure its the primary boot drive and install Windows 7 directly on it and you should be good to go. And with 240GB you should have plenty room for Windows 7 then a few games 🙂

      Best of luck!!

    1. I haven’t decided as it was intended to be for December due to another individuals request, however if there are any significant hardware releases, additions or an interest, I could add I will most definitely include it for the January 2013 builds 🙂

      1. Hey Correy , Can you leave me a feedback on my 1000 build that hopefully i am building soon,
        Its quite similar to your 1000 build, but a few different changes.

        MSI Z77A G45 = I chose this because it had all the features i need, and im not oc a major much , so i wont need the asrock extreme4 and its cheaper.

        I5 3570K = OC properly too 4ghz too 4.2ghz ,

        msi R7870 OC Hawk = I went with this version because has much better cooling and low noise. Also cooler for OC.

        8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 Ram or G.skill 8GB 1600 DDR3 Ram , You you recommend ?

        Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200 64 or The newer 7200.14 Seagate barricuda 64 ?????????? which faster

        CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer = All features i need , Nice looking , Suites my needs , Perfect for me !

        Antec 620W HCG = I see you got a 750W psu , i read a 520W is min , Hope antec 620W is enough ! Expensive !

        Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit = Love this OS , Dont need to waste extra for ultimate or what such ,

        This all comes down to 988 dollars , Kinda expensive compared in the US , cause im from australia and prices are higher. Amm i will be playing games like DayZ , BF3 , Far cry 3 , Crysis 2 and pretty much the newer games on high-ultra-max 1080p.

        Thanks i hope you could really help me.

        1. Hello Sif,

          Not too shabby! As per “8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 Ram or G.skill 8GB 1600 DDR3 Ram” I would say whichever you get a better deal on as they are both good (similar pieces of RAM and I have used both and good experiences with both). I would recommend the Western Digital one, not faster, but I prefer them as I have never had any problems.

          And go ahead with the Antec 620W and you will be fine as long as its over the minimum recommended for the graphics in this case.

          Did it all come to a decent price in Australian? If so congrats!

          1. Yep , i finally found a Shop named MSY technology its kinda close to my house and they bring computer parts and some parts are much cheaper than newegg and amazon like a Sapphire 7870 OC for just $239 , How Great is that. My gpu is $244 because its the msi version.

          2. Yep from a good website named MSY technology . Some parts are much cheaper than newegg and amazon like a Sapphire 7870 OC for just $239

      2. Yep from a good website named MSY technology . Some parts are much cheaper than newegg and amazon like a Sapphire 7870 OC for just $239..

  2. Hey, which build would be good for running StarCraft 2 at Max Settings? Also when Heart of the Swarm comes out i’ll be playing that too. I’ll be playing with a 1680×1050 Monitor Resolution. Any help will be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance for any help 🙂

    1. Hey Zachary,

      Yah 🙂 Another StarCraft fan! To be honest, every build here will be able to play SCII on max for your resolution; with the assumption that Heart of the Swarm has similar hardware requirement. Do you have a particular budget?

        1. Then you are definitely good to go! If SCII is your primary game and you do not want to spend upwards of $1500, then any build here will do the trick. Otherwise, if you are willing to spend $1000-$1500 then the two higher builds will play more higher-end more graphics intensive games at highest graphics settings as well as SCII.

      1. Hey Correy , Can you leave me a feedback on my 1000 build that hopefully i am building soon,
        Its quite similar to your 1000 build, but a few different changes.

        MSI Z77A G45 = I chose this because it had all the features i need, and im not oc a major much , so i wont need the asrock extreme4 and its cheaper.

        I5 3570K = OC properly too 4ghz too 4.2ghz ,

        msi R7870 OC Hawk = I went with this version because has much better cooling and low noise. Also cooler for OC.

        8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 Ram or G.skill 8GB 1600 DDR3 Ram , You you recommend ?

        Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200 64 or The newer 7200.14 Seagate barricuda 64 ?????????? which faster

        CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer = All features i need , Nice looking , Suites my needs , Perfect for me !

        Antec 620W HCG = I see you got a 750W psu , i read a 520W is min , Hope antec 620W is enough ! Expensive !

        Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit = Love this OS , Dont need to waste extra for ultimate or what such ,

        This all comes down to 988 dollars , Kinda expensive compared in the US , cause im from australia and prices are higher. Amm i will be playing games like DayZ , BF3 , Far cry 3 , Crysis 2 and pretty much the newer games on high-ultra-max 1080p.

        Thanks i hope you could really help me.

  3. Hello Corey,I would like to ask you somthing about “overclocking”
    its about my AMD x2 555 Black Edition 3.2 Ghz
    And i would like to know somthing about to how much can i push this Cpu ?
    and if theres a guide please post .I hope that you can help .David

        1. You are right, for some reason I was reading 555 instead of 955! Although, the guide is write the same to what you need to do with your AMD Phenom II X2 555 (although numbers may differ) So download the same software it suggests ( AMD OverDrive software, Maxon Cinebench benchmark R10, 3DMark® 05 benchmark & CPU-Z ) and try following the steps; which after reading throughly are not exactly always self-explanatory, but should give you a start.

          Other wise check YouTube for a few: Here is one where a guy quickly goes through overclocking and unlocking his AMD 555, although you can search for others generally overclocking AMD Phenom processors as it is all relevant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uOwHn9cZIk

          Sorry about the late response been busy for the holidays!

            1. Hello David,

              Everything looks pretty good so far and up to 4ghz, nice job! As per the stress test I would say min. of couple hours all the way up to a day depending on how long you can go without using the comp. If everything seems good after that, then everything good. Looks like a pretty successful OC so far though!

  4. Hi Corey,
    I’m building my first PC, and have selected all of my components and I know they are compatible, except for two components. I noticed that you mentioned the AsRock z77 Extreme4 and the Corsair Vengeance 2X8gb (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10) in the same builds ($1,500 and $2,000). However, I’ve read that these two components are not compatible. Something about the RAM not being supported by the Extreme4 mobo? Is this true? Thanks for your help! Great article, also!

    1. Hello Jeremiah,

      I just double checked to see if there would be anything that would cause any complications, but the compatibility between the Corsair Vengeance ( CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 ) and the AsRock Z77 EXTREME 4 should be good. Essentially all you need to find is RAM that is DDR3 and a 204-pin to be compatible and the motherboard states it supports [ Memory: 4X DDR3-2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 DIMM Slots ] – where the 1600 is the important one to look for as the Corsair Vengeance is 1600Mhz. If you remember, do you know where you read this?

      And thank you very much for your comments!

      1. Oh okay, good! Well, I saw a comment from someone on an obscure forum (I have forgotten which it was…), say that they had problems with their Corsair Vengeance RAM, so they had checked on the AsRock support list for the Extreme4 and hadn’t seen it listed as supported. So, I checked as well, and it didn’t list said RAM on the supported list. However, maybe the list was constructed before the CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 was released? I’m not sure, but I definitely want to make sure that it is compatible. I know that the Extreme4 is able to support up to 32gb of RAM within its four slots, so I’d like to be able to have the option to eventually upgrade to 32gb if I want to without having to buy new sticks. But your research and subsequent confirmation put me at ease, so I’ll go ahead and get the CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 vs. the Corsair Vengeance blue, which would take up all four of my slots for only 16gb. Thanks!

    1. Hey Niko,

      I haven’t even seen the requirement for Crysis 3 yet, and wow it looks power hungry for max play. I’m going to go strictly based on the article you referenced and say yes you would need the $1500 build; or you would just need to swap the graphics card from the $1500 build (Radeon 7970) with the $1000 build, as you do not need everything from the $1500 build to play Crysis 3 at max (ie. only 8Gb RAM).

      Crysis 3 does look sweet 🙂

      1. yep, can’t wait for the game release. Will be great if you could do PC builds for Crysis 3 when it is released in Feb. That will be awesome 🙂

  5. Hello Corey, I’m back with a few questions about “Overclocking”.

    Could you explain to me what Overclocking is, and how it works?
    I am very confused. I have been watching videos and people are saying that their parts are “Overclocked at” (number here). I do not know what they mean by that. Also, there is “Overclocked edition” hardware that I am not sure about.

    Can you please explain these few things to me? Thank you very much! 🙂

    1. Hello Nik,

      Basically, Overclocking is increasing the processors stock frequency to make it faster. So for example the Intel 3770K processor is a 3.5Ghz processor, however through overclocking one could get it easily to well over 4.0Ghz, which in turn gives you more processing power. The process of overclocking generally takes more energy, which in turns gives off more heat, which is the reason for using a non-stock cooler such as the Cooler Master EVO cooler included in the builds in this article.

      Another thing to note, is that some hardware can be more easily overclocked then others. Which is why I chose the Intel 3570K and Intel 3770K processors; the ‘K’ after the number denotes an unlocked processor that can very easily be overclocked. The methods of how to overclock vary processor by processor, but I would not worry about that until you had all your hardware already assembled, and there are many instructional videos that you can mimik for whichever processor you decide to purchase to help you overclock, if you ever decided you wanted to.

      As per what are the “Overclocked Editions” of hardware? (Graphics cards, RAM etc.) Well this simply means that the manufacturer has overclocked the operating frequencies of that particular product over what the original quoted frequencies were. What this means is that this hardware can be a little faster and operating under stable conditions as stated by the particular manufacturer.

      Make sense?

  6. Hello! I need some help with choosing parts for my PC.
    My Budget is about $2000-$2500.

    I do not have too much experience with building PC’s and PC parts. I wish to build a PC that consists of new hardware and can run every game on highest settings, if possible. I would also like to have a matching color theme in my PC. Looks I prefer are: Black/Red, Blue/White, and Black/Green. Overall, I just want a PC that is really good.

    I would like if you can give me a list of really good, and new parts that I can build my PC out of.
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Ralph,

      I had no idea so many individuals were so interested in color matching hardware, might be an idea for a new article!

      First, you can easily copy what me and Nik worked out in the comments below this one where he wanted his hardware to match blue. So if you used the Graphics card, Motherboard and RAM that I suggested to Nik and paired that with the $2000 build in this article, AND used the “Rosewill White Edition Gaming ATX Full Tower Case for Computer THOR V2-W PC Case” you would have a killer looking white case with matching blue hardware; since you did say you like Blue/White.

      This budget would come out to just under $2000 I believe. If you prefer a different look then let me know.

      1. Hey Corey,

        Thank you for the answer.

        I like that build, it looks nice and would run really great. Do you think you can also list me a Black/Green PC build that has amazing performance? I think an article on color matching hardware would be fantastic. Keep up the great work.

        Thanks!

        1. Hey Ralph,

          No problem. And here goes my go at a Black / Green themed build –

          Case – RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme ATX Mid Tower Case The image linked here on Amazon does not do this case justice, so try googling the case and looking at some images as it gives off a great green glow.

          OR (based on your preference)

          Case – Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 VN300M1W2N I am recommending this one as it does have a great green glow AND you can switch the colors up as you like to blue or red. (Take a look at the images on the Thermaltake site )

          RAM – Same as used in the $2000 build – the black 16GB Corsair Vengeance memory (as there is not any green coloured RAM packages that I can think of, at least ones with green heat shields)

          Graphics Card – Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 (Two of these in Crossfire!) – The same as I recommended for Nik. For the most part the card is black and would go well with green. Most of the Radeon 7970s I’ve seen are either black, yellow or red.

          Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 Dual Lan 4Way/3Way/2Way CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI Dual UEFI BIOS E-ATX Motherboard G1.SNIPER 3 is a really good motherboard and fits your color schema perfectly; also it is within your budget. If you decide this would be too much to spend, then I would go with the ASRock motherboard already included in the $2000 build.

          Hard Drive – Western Digital Green 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive If you were really picky on color scheme, you could go with this Western Digital Green HD, which does have a nice green sticker, but honestly you will never see the top anyways.

          Match all of the hardware I listed here (with your choice of which case) with the rest I included in the $2000 build and you should have a nice green / black scheme with great performance.

          1. Perfect! I love it!

            Thank you very much. This might actually be my PC when I build it, along with some Razor peripherals.

            Once again, thank you very much, and keep up the good work.

              1. One more question. I have seen videos of people building their own Gaming PC, and they include 3-4 fans inside of the PC. Do you think that is necessary? How many fans do you think are good enough?

              2. No I do not and many cases do some with a sufficient amount of fans. However if you had your PC up for a bit and felt the need its always super easy to add another one, even if its just for style – such as purchasing one that has a particular color.

              3. Hello Corey,

                I have read some reviews on the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 and some people have said that putting two of these in Crossfire causes overheating problems, and their cards crashing. Do you think will happen if I put two of those in Crossfire?

                Maybe adding another fan would help. I’m just not sure where to put my fans to maintain good airflow.
                I still haven’t purchased or built my PC. Could you also tell me some good ideas on how to maintain good airflow inside of my case. I don’t want any overheating issues.
                Thanks!

              4. Hey Ralph,

                I have not heard the problems on overheating with these cards, but like any setup with this amount of power draw, there is going to be more heating then usual sometimes.

                As per placing fans, allot of cases you will find already will have a few fans in place. For example, you may have one fan on the back for exhaust and one on the top. There could be extra space beside the fan at the top where you could add another. Or sometimes there is a side vent where fans can be placed as well. But overall, adding more and more fans is not going to help as much as adding in the extra CPU cooler.

                In your case, if you would like to add a few more fans, you can always purchase them later, or decide on the finalized case you are getting and see what it comes with and then you could purchase a couple fans that match the same color.

  7. Thank you very much! I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to help me out. Now that I know what “Heatsink”, “SLI/CROSSFIRE”, and Thermal Paste is, I have another question.

    I like the Motherboard, Graphics Card(s), and RAM used in the $2000 build, but I’m just curious if there are any other Motherboards, Graphics Card(s), and RAM that would go with the Processor in the $2000 build that are compatible, and are as good as, or better than the ones used in your build. I just want to know because I like to admire what my PC looks like, but I don’t want that silly reason to decrease my PC’s performance because of the hardware I choose. So, are there any good / new parts that are compatible that you can recommend for me?

    If you think replacing the parts in your current build is not a good idea, you can tell me, because I don’t want the looks of my Hardware affecting the performance of it.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hello again Nik!

      I am glad to have clarified those few things for you. And most certainly there are others motherboards, RAM and graphics cards that could be of a good fit. The ones I choose are simply based on my preferences, budget consciousness and quality for price spent.

      So before I go recommending anything, may I ask your preferences? Is it the color matching – such as you mentioned the blue RAM before? So Blue RAM with a quality Gigabyte motherboard that matches that would be something you like? What about the case I include in the $2000 build, do you like the Rosewill THOR? There are cases that could have a blue glow etc. Although I am a fan of the sleek white look. Just let me know your specific taste and I wil try my best to match it!

      1. Thank you once again, Corey.

        Here is what I prefer. I do prefer Blue RAM, and a Quality Gigabyte Motherboard, just as you mentioned. I think they look really well together, since I do like a Blue Look inside of my PC. The only thing that is stopping me from including those in my build is the Graphics Cards. The Graphics Cards you used in your $2000 build seem really good, but I would like the Graphics Cards to also match my other hardware. I wouldn’t mind including those Graphics Cards you used instead of other ones. As I mentioned before, I don’t want the color of my hardware affecting the performance.

        Also, I think the case you used in your $2000 build is nice and I wouldn’t mind including it, but maybe other case’s can bring out the interior color of my PC a little more.

        I appreciate you helping me out, and I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

          1. Hello Corey,

            That’s about right. I think it would go very well together. Just a question about the hardware. Since there are so many different Motherboards and Graphics Cards, it is hard for me to tell if these are newer parts or not. Do you know if these are newer parts that people are still using? I like to be up to date with hardware. Also, is the performance exactly the same as your $2000 build, or a little bit different?

            Thank you very much!

            1. Hello Nik,

              First, the performances of the hardware I selected would be exactly the same. Second, all of the hardware I would use would be still what individuals would be using. Generally hardware follows that of a processor – such as a new line of processors comes out, which in turn need a different socket size in a motherboard (plus other changes). This then forcers motherboard manufactures to come out with a full line of motherboards that are compatible. This in turn forcer other changes etc. The processor used in this build is the Intel 3770K, which is part of the Intel Ivy Bridge line of processors which only came out the last half of this year.

              Anyways, what I am trying to say is that most of the hardware is recent; including the Radeon 7970 is one of the best high end value cards right now. You could get a higher end motherboard that may boast better BIOS, more USB ports etc, although performance increases would be minimal for spending up to $200 more. Does this help?

  8. Hi Corey, I’ve been visiting this site for a few months now, and have finally decided to build the $1500 PC.

    I have a question though, Is the HD 7970 that much louder compared to the GTX 680? Could I add bigger fans to reduce the noise, or maybe even water cooling with that case? I’d just like to make it as quiet as possible..

    I don’t know much about GPU’s, but I think an overclocked HD 6970 should perform slightly better than a GTX 680, right? I will only be using a single monitor for gaming.

    Thanks for all the help.

    1. Hey Jay,

      Thank you for checking up here for the last few months. When compared to the GTX 680, the Radeon 7970 should not exhibit any more sound. What I find that generally creates the most sound is the CPU and its heat sink if it is under a heavy load as the fan speeds increase. Of which, water cooling would be a better solution in terms of sound. Also, I do not think adding bigger or more fans to the case would help inhibit more sound, but rather increase it.

      And you are right, I have seen increases on the Radeon HD 6970 of up to 1050MHz, matching or exceeding that of a GTX 680. Either way with a single monitor set-up you should be good. What’s your resolution at?

      Best of luck 🙂

      1. My resolution will just be 1080p, though I’m trying to find a monitor no bigger than 24″ with higher resolution. Do you know of any 2K displays around that size? 25″ or more is just too big for my needs.
        Thank you for all the help.

        1. Hey Jay,

          You will have no problems playing anything! And I don’t think you will find any monitors at 24″ that go much higher in resolution yet, or that I am at least aware of. If you wanted to say, go for 27″ there are many at 2560X1440 resolutions and as an example – the Samsung SyncMaster S27B970 has gotten good reviews, although it is a little over $1000. And as you said 27″ wouldn’t work for you anyways. I game at 1080p at 24″ as well on a BenQ right now and everything looks great to me!

  9. Hello! I plan on purchasing parts for my Gaming PC in the near future. I have never done it before so I am not to aware of what to do, and what not to do. I have read your “Choosing Hardware” section, and it was helpful. I am looking at your December 2012 $2000 Gaming PC build which I plan to follow as I build my PC, but I have a few questions.

    – Would I need only that one CPU Cooler (for overclocking) in this build, or more? (I certainly don’t want any overheating issues)
    – I like the idea of having two graphics cards, but I am not sure what you mean by “Two cards in SLI”, nor what SLI is.
    – This one may be weird, but; is there any other Graphics cards, Motherboard, and RAM I can replace the listed ones with? (The only reason is that I like how the blue Gigabyte motherboards look like, with some blue RAM that I forgot the name of. I just like things to match, but I don’t want that to cause me buying parts that are not as good/outdated). This isn’t necessary, I’m just curious.
    – If the answer is yes for the previous question, is there any other Cases that would match and go with the parts?
    – I saw some videos on Gaming PC builds, and I am very confused and worried because I have no idea what “Heatsink” is, what it does, ect.
    – Last one; What is “Thermal Paste”? I saw someone adding it in their build and that along with “Heatsink” really intimidated me.

    Some things to keep in mind. This is my first time doing something like this. I wish to purchase new/good parts for my PC, but there are so many I do not know which ones to purchase. Basically, I just want my first ever gaming PC build to be amazing, at a budget of about $2000. Also, I will pay a professional to build the PC for me once I have all of the parts (I don’t feel comfortable building it). I apologize for the long reply, but I am just curious and want to be sure before I start doing anything. I feel this is a good place to learn because the monthly PC builds are really helpful. I cannot wait to see the January one’s!
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hello Nik,

      Welcome to Newb Computer Build and I hope I can help you answer all of yours questions!

      -You would only need one CPU cooler. In fact, you don’t technically need to purchase the separate CPU cooler such as the Cooler Master EVO CPU cooler featured in the $2000 build as the CPU (The Intel i7 3770K) comes with a heatsink (stock cooler) in its box. What the separately purchased cooler helps with is helping you keep the CPU cool if you decide to overclock (increase your processors speed) or helps keep the cpu a tad cooler under larger loads.

      -SLI is simply the term used when pairing two or more NVIDIA branded graphics cards. I had actually made a tiny error when writing “two cards in SLI” As I did mean two cards in CROSSFIRE; which is the term used to mean pairing two or more graphics cards that are Radeon branded (such as the two Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards featured in the $2000 build.

      -Can you buy motherboards, RAM and graphics cards not featured in the particular $2000 build? Most certainly! You just have to make sure they are compatible. That is, the motherboard supports Processors with an 1155 socket size, the RAM is DDR3 240 Pin and you can choose from the many brands of a particular Graphics card. If you are planning on the $2000 build, I would stay with the two Radeon 7970’s, however you can choose from the different looks / brands (such as Diamond, Gigabyte, Saphire etc). Also, I think the RAM you are referring to is the Corsair Vengeance blue.

      -The “Heatsink: is basically the cooler for your processor. It comes in the box with the processor (The Intel 3770K) and is attached right on top of the processor to keep it cool. However, if you went with the $2000 build and bought the Cooler Master EVO cpu cooler, this would be used instead of the heatsink that comes with the processor.

      -Thermal paste is the paste that goes on top of the processor right before you attach the heatsink on top of it to promote heat conductivity. Processors nowadays generally come with pre-applied thermal paste so you would not have to worry about purchasing any as it will already be on the processor (or at least included).

      I appreciate your comment and curiosity, because thats why Newb Computer Build is here! Also, before you try to get a professional or sorts to build it you should try taking a whack at it, you may be surprised at how fun and easy it becomes, but its up to you.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

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