Build Guides

Published on September 9th, 2012 | by Brandon

33

PC Build Guide – September 2012

Welcome to the September 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, we continue to see strong builds at each of our price points. Most improved this month is the Starter, as we upgrade from the trusty Sandy Bridge i5-2500K to an Ivy Bridge i5-3570K and select a new ASRock Z77 motherboard to go along with it. We also switch to XFX for our Radeon 7870, based on budgetary constraints as we come right up against our price ceiling. The Enthusiast sees only minor changes, as we switch video card brands from MSI to EVGA and also move to an ASRock motherboard. Lastly, the Professional stays strong as ever as we simply change video card brands to EVGA. (Don’t forget that the NZXT Phantom comes in several different color schemes.)

Side note: At time of publish, it looks like Newegg is offering a free 60GB OCZ SSD with the ASRock Pro4 and a free 8GB of RAM with the ASRock Extreme4, so you may want to jump on those deals quickly if interested.

 

The Starter ($800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/h2uL

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K ($215.99 @ NCIX US)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 ($109.99 @ Amazon)
  • Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($35.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB ($239.99 @ 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: $799.40

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/h1Yx

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($314.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 ($109.99 @ Amazon)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($99.99 @ B&H)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($404.62 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($93.89 @ NCIX US)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V ($104.99 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1280.42

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fT7J

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($314.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 ($134.99 @ Amazon)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($74.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5″ SSD ($99.99 @ B&H)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($404.62 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($404.62 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case  ($119.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer  ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1797.14

 

Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments!

 


33 Responses to PC Build Guide – September 2012

  1. iGl00ze says:

    Was hoping to see a build with the 660ti :(

  2. Whyaim says:

    Hmm, why upgrade the CPU in the starter build rather than the GPU?

  3. mrcanadianaviator says:

    Whats a better mobo GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H or the MSI Z77A-G43

  4. chrome says:

    Imo this build is worse than the last one. Why would you change from msi to evga? EVGA doesn’t even make any of their components. And msi uses higher quality parts. This applies to the to all the builds. You could have kept the msi and had a dual fan cooler but instead you chose evga, which is not only more expensive but is also less overclockable. You also chose an xfx video card over the big three. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI. Also you guys still kept a low end cpu cooler for the professional build. Overall a pretty good build but not nearly as good as it could be.

    • mrcanadianaviator says:

      they are EVGA fanboys

      • chrome says:

        I don’t understand why. What has evga done?

        • mrcanadianaviator says:

          ?

        • Dan Dan says:

          EVGA has pretty great products (as does MSI). Not sure why all the hate. The Hyper 212 is also a great CPU cooler, not sure why it is considered low end by you, when it is only low end in price, not performance.

          • Roughington says:

            Yeah EVGA video cards are pretty much the industry standard on how performance should look at varying levels of tweaking, and as for the hyper 212 it is the bench mark for air coolers it doesn’t matter how much you are willing to pay for a system the 212 will almost always be the standard of excellence. Lastly any chance we are going to see that brand new EVGA PSU next month?

          • Brandon Brandon says:

            The overclockable one? Don’t count on that showing up in our build guide any time soon. :p

      • Wheelzz says:

        They make solid products, good warranty and great customer service. Also, im not sure where the hate for reference coolers comes from. The design suites many scenarios better. In small cases the heat being blown out is helpful. The hyper 212+ is a great cooler and more than capable of cooling a stock voltage overclock on a 3770K.

    • TheBadamanCJ says:

      “We also switch to XFX for our Radeon 7870, based on budgetary constraints as we come right up against our price ceiling.” Personally I’d go with MSI because Linus.

  5. Respect says:

    Well looks like I’m getting the Asrock extreme , free 8gbs of ram. This is working out perfect for my first build.

  6. XAC says:

    Sweet similar to what I built last month and I like it a lot. Although, mine was a bit cheaper at 675. Make sure to keep your eyes out on deals throughout the months and piece it together you’ll save a bit more money in the end.

  7. blairtron says:

    Why no Samsung 830 SSD? Samsung master race #yolo

  8. Disconsented says:

    Why don’t you start including the price of Windows, kb, m etc?
    It would help people get a better idea of what a full rig is going to cost.

    • Wheelzz says:

      Including Windows as a little side note would make sense. Personally I dont think peripherals should be included because that is completely 100% up to user preference.

    • Akaitenshi says:

      They could if they had it in an extra category, like a recommended peripherals section. (monitor,kb,m, headset, speakers, fans?)
      because a high end 800 dollar build is cool, but then you still have your trackerball mouse :P

  9. lukepetro99 says:

    I am very satisfied with my EVGA 670. No problems at all! I’m a very satisfied and will purchase from EVGA again.

  10. natanOj says:

    ……. The enthusiast build is better than mine even though it costs way less than mine because I live in Sweden :( fuck me

  11. ViridianCrystal says:

    I would really start thinking about putting 7970’s in the build over the 670’s. AMD’s 12.7/12.8 drivers have major jumps in performance out of the 7k series chips. Also, 7970’s are sitting around $430-450. Overclockers would love it too.

  12. Roughington says:

    I know know what KBMOD did to make nVidia pissed at them, but after they made this guide the gtx660 got released and it is a performance competitor of the 7870 with all the nice driver support if nVidia and roughly the same price point if not at times a little cheaper depending on the manufacturer you go with. I hope no self-proclaimed hardware gurus cause you grief CHEERS!

  13. thebellbreaker says:

    okay so i’m in the process of building the starter build per the recommendations of this guide, and i noticed that the power supply only has one pci e connector, while the video card requires two. Is there any way to remedy this problem?

    • xXGhost7Xx says:

      Sometimes the GPU comes with Dual Molex to 8/6 pin connectors. If you live in US you can probably pick them up at Radioshack if the GPU doesn’t come with them.

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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