Build Guides

Published on July 17th, 2013 | by Brandon

23

PC Build Guide – July 2013

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Welcome to the July 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 stays relatively quiet, with the glaring exception of video card changes. The Starter upgrades slightly from a Radeon 7770 GHz Edition to a GTX 650 Ti, while the Sweet Spot sees a big jump up from a Radeon 7870 GHz Edition to Nvidia’s brand new GTX 760. We also swap in a superclocked EVGA GTX 770 to the Enthusiast this month, moving it over to the Nvidia camp as well. Lastly, with 8GB of RAM now sitting well above the $50 mark, we make some memory changes for certain builds as we continue to look for the best deals on high quality brands.

 

The Starter ($500 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hwMp

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 ($118.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 ($85.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB ($104.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.78 @ NCIX US)
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 500W ($27.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $494.71

 

The Sweet Spot ($800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hvKT

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K ($209.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 ($114.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB ($254.98 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 600W ($34.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $797.90

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hvJb

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($319.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 ($134.98 @ Amazon)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1866 ($65.70 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5″ SSD ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($69.99 @ Newegg)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (Black/Green) ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1290.61

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hvGE

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K ($334.98 @ Outlet PC)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 ($139.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1866 ($65.70 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5″ SSD ($164.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB – 2-Way SLI ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (Black/Green) ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1798.59

 

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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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  • Alexleedee

    Nice changes to the video cards, definitely.

  • jrstriker12

    GTX 760 is a great deal at the $250 price point. Still want to see what AMD offers when the volcanic islands GPUs drop.

  • jrstriker12

    Just wondering. Any recommendations for a micro ATX board? I only plan on using a single GPU and don’t plan on overclocking.

  • Rick Grimes

    I love the enthusiast build for this month, the 770 is a great graphics card. I would rather have the hyper 212 evo, great build though.

  • Slayer

    And… the professional PC runs… for example, BF3 full-ultra?

    • Brandon

      Yes, the Professional will blow away ultra settings in BF3 at 1080p.

  • The starter should be able to play most games, right?

    • John

      Yes but not well. Maybe not high graphics games like battlefield 3. I currently have a i3 laptop and I can’t really play bf3 but tribes ascend works ok. I might see if you can upgrade to the 800 build if you want to play good games well.

  • Brad Little

    Again, does the basic play most games, at least a medium quality. Also, do you have any guides on putting them together. I’m fairly deductive, however this isn’t something that I would want to fire from the hip with.

  • Ty

    I would have gone with a 4670k instead of the 3770k at the $1300 price point, and would have swapped out the single 770 for two 760’s. This is a bit outdated though.

    • felix

      Honestly Single gpus see ALWAYS better than dual or dual core ones dealt to the fact that duals always crate micro stuttering so I rather reccomend a single gtx 780 and a nice soundcard for the pro pc

  • jack

    on the sweet spot build the case does not have usb 3.0 ports does any one know of a case that does

  • Vince

    How good would the Enthusiast build be for streaming (qualities) and running games like LoL, Vindictus, WoW and others (for FPS rate on different qualities) while running programs like Skype?

  • Vince

    Also, would you still need to get a monitor (or two) and copy of Windows 7/system you plan on using?

  • Kerodon

    Why 212+ instead of 212 EVO?
    And why cases with no airflow?
    Your GPU choices were perfect for ranges.
    And i think including the “combo deals” from microcenter on CPU+Mobo would be ALOT better if youre going to use it as an option in these.
    Example (http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-bundles.aspx)
    Newegg
    ~ i7-4770k = $340 (ref http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116901)
    ~ASRock Z87 Extreme4 = $140 (ref http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157369)
    Total = $480

    .vs.
    Microcenter
    Same items combo deal = $380 (ref http://www.microcenter.com/store/add_product.aspx?productIDs=0414559,0413248)

    Also, isnt 750W on a SLI setup really limiting for overclocking potential?
    (especially in the limited airflow of a NZXT Phantom)

  • A

    Hey guys! Thanks so much for posting these monthly builds!!

    I’m hoping to pull the trigger on an ~$800 budget rig in the next month or so. Have there been any significant updates for the month of August, in that realm?

    Since it’s only like a ten dollar price difference, should I go with the Intel Core i5-3570K, or the new Haswell chips?

    I appreciate any help!! (I plan on getting the GTX 760 as well)

  • Jacob

    ‘The sweet spot’ can it run most games on medium – high graphics? This article is great by the way.

  • ashe

    you guys are definitely taking money from nvidia aren’t you? because a 7970 for 250 usd is a worse decision than a 760 for the same price?

  • ZombieCraze

    Please make a video of some sort for these computers. I bought the parts for the $500 one and I don’t know how to put it together. This is my first time building a computer and I don’t want to screw it up.

  • james

    i was wondering which one of these builds could run games like arma 2 or 3 on medium maybe high settings and fps

  • Liam Wartnaby

    Would the ‘Sweet spot’ one be able to run games smoothly such as:
    – Arma 2 (+ Option with DayZ mod)
    If it cannot run that game as it is a game that demands a high-spec PC would it be able to run games smoothly such as:
    – PayDay 2
    – XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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