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Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Brandon

26

PC Build Guide – November 2012

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Welcome to the November version of our PC build guides. As with before, we have implemented hard price limits ($500, $800, $1300, $1800) on ourselves and have had to make tough decisions with each build. Your personal budget will likely be flexible, but we hope this article will give you a baseline. You can of course spend more or spend less, but you run into a case of diminishing returns at either end. Please keep in mind that pricing information is immediate and may not necessarily reflect real prices by the time you have read this article.

This month has been relatively quiet when it comes to PC hardware prices. Our Starter and Sweet Spot builds each get a new motherboard, but otherwise remain largely unchanged as we continue to push right up against their respective $500 and $800 price ceilings. The Enthusiast also sees relatively minimal change, but does get a new motherboard and an upgrade to some faster DDR3-1866 memory. Lastly, the Professional sees a new motherboard and faster memory as well, but the biggest news is the welcome upgrade of a 256GB solid state drive, which should have plenty of room for all of your favorite games.

 

The Starter ($500 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBja

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 ($112.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 ($87.55 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($18.98 @ NCIX US)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB ($112.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W ATX12V ($39.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Total: $498.47

 

The Sweet Spot ($800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mByA

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K ($219.99 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 ($114.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($35.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB ($224.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W ATX12V ($39.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Total: $795.41

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBwf

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($319.99 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 ($147.86 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1866 ($84.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer¬† ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Total: $1292.77

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBBo

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($319.99 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 ($147.86 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1866 ($84.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk ($164.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Total: $1787.76

 

Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments!


vol1tion

BrandonBrandon

Brandon started his PC gaming days playing Doom II (IDDQD/IDKFA for life) and has been hooked on online gaming since the original Starsiege: Tribes. The way to his heart is through proper grammar, corn dogs, and cookie cake.




  • Chesten

    Why Gigabyte MB’s and not like Asus? personal taste or is there something else? cause the Asus P8Z77-V LK is one hell of a board for around the same price, just wondering the reasons behind gigabyte? I haven’t really looked into them so that’s kind of why also.

    • http://www.youtube.com/NOTECH4Uproductions notech4u

      I second his opinion, not to mention Asus seems to have way better customer service than any other MOBO brand i’ve dealt with… that is if anything DOES go wrong. ACTUALLY, i might even go with the ASUS P8B75-V in some of those builds, it’ll save you another $50 on top of that and you could go using the EVGA GTX 670 FTW-ed graphics card, frankly i’m pretty sure right now is the same price as the MSI cards your using, and WAY WAY better. WOW, that was a run on, lol… Check em out bro’s ;)

      • http://www.youtube.com/NOTECH4Uproductions notech4u
        • Chesten

          yeah personally I tend to lean to EVGA for gpus in general, and I’ve only hear great things about asus so that’s why I was curious on the choice. The MSI 670 is faster and is probably cooler but I like the EVGA/ asus/ corsair swag

      • http://www.kbmod.com Brandon

        I’m a big fan of EVGA, and the EVGA 670 FTW and MSI 670 Power Edition are both great cards. The MSI card we chose is clocked slightly higher, but IMO, you can’t really go wrong either way. As I mentioned in my reply to Chesten, a choice like this largely comes down to personal preference.

    • http://www.kbmod.com Brandon

      More so than just about any other component, motherboards are highly subject to personal preference and the individual needs of you and your system. We try to pick boards from reputable manufacturers that have good feature sets and overall positive reviews, but this is one scenario where one size does not fit all. When building a new system, we highly encourage you to research motherboards for yourself and find the one that best aligns with your budget and desired features.

  • http://www.youtube.com/ogagent OGAgent

    Just wanna say ASUS customer support is terrible from personal experience, they have a habit of not sending you your RMA numbers and just being altogether difficult. RMAd one motherboard and they didn’t do anything to it still had the same problem when I got it back and RMAd it again and got a brand new board. So honestly IMO ASUS customer support is terrible.

  • JeffLaFlavor

    Agreeing with Brandon’s statement about MoBos. I would also go with EVGA 670 FTW and an Asus P8Z77 MoBo. Like he said ” When building a new system, we highly encourage you to research motherboards for yourself and find the one that best aligns with your budget and desired features.”

  • Chesten

    yeah I didn’t mean to sound like a dick or anything about it I was just wondering if there was something like huge fires breaking out on the mobo’s that I haven’t hear of or something. I was just curious on the reasoning if it was something major or just person preference, still kinda new at in the whole PC build realm.

  • mrcanadianaviator

    Why not the GTX 660 non ti for the sweet spot build. From what I have seen it preforms just a little better with all the features of nvidia like adaptive V-sync.

    • Pyromaniac8749

      I was thinking the same thing. Was the card out when they made this?

  • Big_Dean

    Why not the super underpriced 560ti for the starter?
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n560gtxtim2d1gd5oc

    • http://www.kbmod.com Brandon

      The incredibly low price PCPP currently shows for a GTX 560 Ti is only available at NCIX, and I’m guessing their current price of $93 after MIR is a listing mistake (especially since the card also shows as out of stock right now). You normally would not be able to get a GTX 560 Ti for anywhere close to that price.

  • EmperorPiehead

    why not get a 7970 for $1300 build they perform better, the drivers are better now, and come with 3 free $60 games. they come as low as $370 just stay away from crossfire.

    • Wheelzz

      Preference, if you want a 7970 get the 7970. The 670 performs the same or better than the 7970, slightly better drivers and the inclusion of adaptive V-Sync is awesome.

  • http://www.youtube.com/ajaylikesgaming AjayLikesGaming

    Do not question the KBMOD overlords.

  • murdergames

    From what i’ve heard the 3770k doesn’t offer much better performance for gaming purposes than the 3570k. The hyperthreading is only really useful for editing and video software. Would the $100+ dollars saved from buying a 3570k be better spent on a better ssd?

    • http://www.kbmod.com Brandon

      If you don’t plan to use your machine for any tasks that will take advantage of Hyper-Threading, then sure, you can certainly go that route.

    • Wheelzz

      If all your doing is gaming and tasks that dont take full advantage of hyper threading, get a 3570K. Assuming your talking about the Enthusiast build you could use the extra to throw in a 256GB SSD and than just use the rest towards Windows and peripherals.

  • Jorge_olivera_nox_phx

    hey guys. My name is Jorge, I am just wondering if the $500 one would run my favorite computer game of all time LEAGUE OF LEGENDS at at least 60 fps.
    THANKS!
    -Jorge Olivera
    add me on league NOX PHX

    • noxPHX

      Fuck you DARkxR3CON. Got banned from the vent for the same thing. Dick.

      • Jorge_olivera_nox_phx

        Please delete this hacker.

        • noxPHX

          FK U

  • dstroid

    noob question here…

    is there certain things (windows, video editing programs, etc.) better off on the SSD and others better on your standard hard drive? If so, what is a good way to split them up?

    • http://www.kbmod.com Brandon

      Simply put, programs installed on your SSD are going to load faster than your standard mechanical hard drive. You definitely want to put your operating system on your SSD, and after that, it really comes down to which programs/games you use most often and how much space you have available on your SSD. Use your standard HDD for file storage (movies, music, photos, etc.) and lesser-used applications.

      • dstroid

        great response… thanks so much

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