Build Guides

Published on August 6th, 2012 | by Brandon

32

PC Build Guide – August 2012

Welcome to the August 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.

Compared to last month, this month sees all three builds strengthened considerably as various components continue to come down in price. The Starter sees a direct upgrade from a MSI Twin Frozr 7850 to a Radeon 7870 of the same model. The Enthusiast and Professional builds virtually mirror each other’s upgrades, as both builds transition to an Ivy Bridge i7-3770K (and, by extension, new Z77 motherboards), most likely saying goodbye to the beloved Sandy Bridge generation for good. To offset the cost of the upgraded processor, both builds also see a minor shift in video card manufacturer from EVGA to MSI. While the stock-clocked MSI model is ever so slightly slower than the EVGA FTW model we prefer, a generous rebate on the MSI cards helps us come in under our self-imposed price points while also upgrading to Ivy Bridge–a trade-off that we believe is well worth making. Lastly, the Professional changes cases (again, for cost reasons) to the NZXT Phantom, a full tower that comes in numerous different flavors.

 

The Starter ($800 maximum)

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

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI Twin Frozr Radeon HD 7870 2GB ($259.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master 500W ATX12V ($34.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $795.40

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

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

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($329.99 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G43 ATX LGA1155 ($109.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($45.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($103.50 @ Adorama)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($384.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V ($114.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1298.40

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

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

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($329.99 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($103.50 @ Adorama)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($384.99 @ Newegg)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($384.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($113.84 @ Outlet PC)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V ($136.98 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1799.23

 

Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments!

 

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32 Responses to PC Build Guide – August 2012

  1. Conaer says:

    Still waiting the 660ti myself. Can’t wait to see how it fits in with next month’s build guides.

  2. Dalesy says:

    Why Ivy Bridge? I really don’t think that the minor increase in performance will outweigh the fact that you can barely OC them past 4.0GHz without the temps skyrocketing. Also, I’m pretty sure a 2600k OC’d to something like 4.5GHz will greatly outperform the best stable OC one could get with a 3770k. Just my two cents.

    • Dan Dan says:

      Overclocking performance does not factor in to these guides. It might to you personally, but not to these guides.

      • Meier says:

        If that’s the case shouldn’t you go with non k models in the builds?

        • Brandon Brandon says:

          To clarify Dan’s point, overclocking performance is something we do consider (which is why we almost always recommend buying K-model Intel chips), but the chip’s stock performance is the most important factor when making these guides. Ivy Bridge may not overclock quite as well as Sandy Bridge, but that alone is not, in my opinion, a valid reason to dismiss Ivy Bridge chips if the price is right.

    • Wheelzz says:

      You can OC a 3770K to like 4.2-4.3ghz on stock volt. Thats still a huge improvement and when combined with the other IVB features makes it worth it in my books!

  3. TheDillsterr says:

    The enthusiast build looks fucking fantastic. You guys do a really good job with making these builds for people.

  4. Akaitenshi says:

    oh fuck off, is the crucial m4 100$ in US ? it’s 100 EUR where I live.. they do this with everything >…>

  5. ethansonline says:

    What nvidia card could i swap into the budget build? Can go a little over budget

    • James says:

      I would wait for the 660ti it will be around $300 which is 40 more than the AMD card in there currently.

    • Jaco says:

      It depends how you define a little. for around $1050 you could fit a 670 into it, but if that is too much over budget, I would go with a 660ti

  6. Dauntless says:

    Too late, I bought parts based on the July build and today finally is build day :D

  7. wazup52 says:

    Doing something like the professional build but with an AMD FX-8150 and a 7970. Don’t hate lol

  8. Mikan says:

    I see you put the Hyper 212 Plus in all 3 builds, I’m wondering because I could only get my hands on a Hyper 212 Evo if these 2 have any signficant difference? I still find the evo to be rather amazing but is the Plus any differen’t appart from the clip things on the fan?

    • Conaer says:

      There really is no major difference between the two, both are solid cooler. They just picked the 212 Plus cause it’s slightly cheaper than the Evo and their on strict budgets.

    • Wheelzz says:

      The EVO is a bit better. Pretty much the same but, the heatpipes are a tad different and it has a better fan!

      • Mikan says:

        Allright, was thinking it was a budget thing but the changes where so small I assumed it was the same price and that the Plus was going out after the Evo came out.

  9. mrcanadianaviator says:

    I would like to see you quys make a Perfect build. no price limit.

    • afuriouspuppy says:

      Perfect for what? Gaming? CAD workstation? Server? Im guessing gaming. Perfect is and odd goal to strive for. Spending 10k on a PC is ludicrous. It is also pointless because games only go up to ultra setting. There is no super ultra. What I am saying is that professional build will be able to run all AAA titles on ultra for the next couple years. So if you spent your 10k this year you would be wasting money. Wasting because the performance increase that you get is not noticed, unless you are trying to run 5+ monitors at once at 2560×1600. I have to admit that making the top of the line builds is fun, and that is why pcpartpicker.com exists.

      • afuriouspuppy says:

        Here is a PC partpicker link to an almost maxed out PC.
        http://pcpartpicker.com/p/e4Jn
        This is why saying no price limit is kinda silly. I could spend infinite money on random things. I could buy and external hardrive enclosure and just keep on buying hard drives by the thousands. Saying no price limit lets me buy the warehouse renderfarms that they use for transformers. Sadly there was no render farm option on pcpartpicker.com

      • mrcanadianaviator says:

        I see the point you are trying to make. My comment does not clearly explain what I was thinking. I wanted to see a build that they didn’t have to compromise on anything. But I do understand what you are saying and I do agree.

  10. TheRealEdwin says:

    Any chance for a starter or enthusiast build with a monitor recommendation? I have a keyboard and mouse already but lack a monitor.

  11. brianward says:

    Anyone have any suggestions on a build in between the starter and the enthusiast? I have a bit over $1000 to spend and am wondering what things from the starter build I can improve on with a little more wiggle room.

    • Jaco says:

      just put a 670 in it instead of the 7870 (also a better power supply). I found that I could fit the 670 from the $1300 build and the power supply from the $1300 build as well for about $1000 (before shipping). Here is the link to the pc particker build (I’m assuming you are from the U.S.). http://pcpartpicker.com/b/xAC

  12. Dvald25 says:

    I just wanted to leave a quick thank you to you guys for putting this together. I used a mix of both the Starter and the Enthusiast build to make my Dads new rig that I put together yesterday. Its working great and playing all the games he wants easily. This guide was really helpful. So Thanks again and looking forward to some more awesome content from you guys!

  13. Cudderz says:

    Hey guys, i am currently building my first rig. Slowly but surely it is coming together. I’m trying to save enough to build the $1300 build, but i have a question for you guys. Will the 650 watt power supply be fine? Or should i put the extra couple dollars and get the 750 watt?

  14. imaszy says:

    Is the Gigabyte z77x-ud3h motherboard a good motherboard for an enthusiast build?

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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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