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Published on June 6th, 2012 | by Brandon

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PC Build Guide – June 2012

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Hey guys, welcome to the June version of our PC build guides. As with before, we have implemented hard price limits ($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.

The Starter sees virtually no change compared to last month’s guide, as the combination of a 2500K and Radeon 7850 still provides an amazing value and bumps right up against our $800 price ceiling. Our only change this month is a move to a Sapphire video card, as we’re a fan of this brand for AMD cards when we can afford it.

While we had a 2500K and GTX 680 in last month’s Enthusiast build, we decided to take a slight hit in graphics by moving to a superclocked version of the recently released GTX 670, which is less expensive than the GTX 680, but offers better performance per dollar spent. By making that sacrifice, we’re able to upgrade our CPU to the hyper-threaded 2600K (up from last month’s 2500K), which provides more processing power for live streaming, rendering videos, and other tasks many gamers are likely to partake in nowadays.

We go a little radical with the Professional this month by essentially supercharging the Enthusiast build with double the RAM and another superclocked GTX 670. For gaming, we felt that the combination of a 2600K and SLI GTX 670s simply outdoes a 3770K and single GTX 680. Let me reiterate–for gaming (which is our primary focus when coming up with these builds). If you use your PC for many tasks you know to be highly CPU-intensive, last month’s Professional may be more suited to your tastes. However, the prospect of running a pair of GTX 670s and conquering any game on highest settings at pretty much any resolution has our collective mouths watering.

 

The Starter ($800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9BxG

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($46.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($89.98 @ Amazon)
  • Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB ($249.99 @ Amazon)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master 500W ATX12V ($37.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $798.90

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9yqs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K ($279.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($46.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($119.00 @ B&H)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($89.24 @ B&H)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($419.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($92.99 @ Best Buy)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V ($124.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1294.16

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9yn2

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K ($279.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($94.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($119.00 @ B&H)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($419.99 @ Newegg)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($419.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V ($124.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1797.90

 

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.


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  • kylu19

    Why would you recommend the 2600k versus any of the new Ivy Bridge CPU’s?

    • RossGeddes

      Sandy Bridge has the potential of overclocking farther without burning down your house.

    • Wheelzz

      They would not be able to fit in a 3770K to the price cap and you would be able to over clock a 2600K to perform the same or faster than a 3770K/3570K. They could have went with a 3570K but the addition of hyper threading on the 2600K is good considering many people who PC game record or edit. The hyper threading would really help with rendering! If one can afford it, sure, go with a 3770K or 3570K. Just know that you probably wont get much higher than 4.2, 4.3 or possibly 4.4ghz on stock or close to it voltage. Sure you can up voltage but with Ivy thats when they start running hotter than SNB, when volts are added. 4.2-4.4ghz on a IVB CPU will be faster than a higher click SNB CPU and run cool as long as theres minimal voltage bump but you also pay more! As they stress every time, its just a base guideline and it all depends on how much more you can spend!

      I personally am going to probably go with a i7 3770K and 680 as a upgrade if I get a summer job or, possibly a SC 670!

    • Bob

      The 2600k is a better value than the 3770k. The 3770k may be faster, clock for clock, but it also has a thermal limit of around 4.2ghz. A 2600k, however, regularly can be pushed to 4.5-4.7ghz without much effort, negating the performance boost yielded by IVB.

    • kylu19

      Cool, thanks :)

  • Jakepig

    Whats with the GTX 670’s, why not GTX 680?

    • One GTX 670 is only about a 10% decrease for 80% of the price. (That’s an entire 20% off)

      A GTX 670 is about $400-$420 depending on clock speed.

      A GTX 680 is about $500-$580 depending on clock speed.

  • Hakaku

    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM is different on all three builds. Different vendors and different prices (albeit slight) for all three.

  • Grandmasterhacker

    Why don’t you guys factor in the cost of Windows?

    • We don’t factor in the cost of the operating system or peripherals (mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc.) because many people already have those items and can re-use them from one PC to the next.

  • I’ve always been lost at choosing what monitor I should get as I dont know shit about monitors. Can anyone point me to a good monitor that is 1920 x 1080, 120hz, and a low ms response time? Im looking to get two. Thanks bros.

    ~miko

    • I’m a fan of ASUS monitors and personally own three of the ASUS VW246H model. It’s not 120Hz, but honestly, I don’t think a 120Hz monitor is worth the price premium you’ll have to pay for it.

  • lukepetro99

    Im LOVING my GTX 670

  • DaddyLongNips

    why not use this instead for the $1300 dollar option? ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5 GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    • The brand you choose is up to you. We typically prefer EVGA for Nvidia cards.

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