$1000-1200 Gaming PC (Feedback)

By Brenno29
May 11, 2013
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  1. Hey guys,
    Recently I have been looking around for components for a decent gaming pc capable of running some of the latest games such as Battlefield ¾, Arma II/III (DayZ), Skyrim (with mods), Minecraft (with mods) and various others at high to max settings. I'm in Perth and have a budget of around $1400 (without monitor or peripherals), I've been looking at MSY Perth as they have the cheapest parts. I have come up with a list of components I have found online.
    CPU- Intel Core i5-3570k Quad Core ($235)
    CPU Cooler- Cooler Master V8 ($54)
    (originally I went for the CM TPC 812 but couldn't find it on the MSY website)

    MoBo- ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ($134)
    Memory- G.Skill Ares series 8GB (2x4) 1600Mhz ($69)
    HDD- Seagate Barracuda 1TB 64mb 7200RPM ($69)
    SSD- Samsung 840 series 120GB ($95)
    Graphics Card- MSI 7950 3GB OC ($329)
    Case- Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ($86)
    (Feel free to suggest another case, though I'd prefer a case with a side window and a few USB 3 or 2 ports)

    PSU- Antec HCG-520M ($98)
    OS- Windows 7 Professional 64 bit ($138)
    OD- Asus Black 24x ($22)
    This is without the mouse, keyboard or headset, though I plan later on to buy the Razer Deathadder 2013 and am still yet to decide on a keyboard (I'd love any suggestions, I think I'd prefer a good quality MX Cherry red or brown mechanical keyboard) and headset (feel free to leave a suggestion). I'm not looking for a monitor in this build but maybe if anyone knows a good quality, cheap monitor it would be greatly appreciated. I'd love if anyone could also tell me if these are the best parts for my budget and what settings I'd be able to achieve with this pc on the games I listed. If you feel that other components may be better, please do list them with a description of why you chose that particular part (I'm not a genius when it comes to quality of components).
    -Thanks in advance, brenno29
  2. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    As a fellow Perth dweller, I highly recommend you order your parts from an online store such as Mwave or PC Case Gear. They are cheaper than pretty much any local store and have a much larger range of components (I recommend you purchase your Case and Monitor locally, as they cost a fair bit to ship). You can save some money buy buying from multiple stores as well, just keep an eye out for good deals.

    As for your build, I'm liking most of it, I have a couple of suggestions however.

    I wouldn't bother with a V8 for the cooler, I's suggest downgrading to a Hyper 212X (newer version of the 212 Evo). They are more popular and can guarantee good results.

    If you can stretch it, go for the Samsung 840 Pro for your SSD, as they are significantly better than the non-pro.

    I think your PSU is cutting it pretty fine, and I'd definitely suggest an upgrade. I'd get a 650W or even a 750W form Corsair or Seasonic, as this will leave some headroom for you to upgrade in the future.

    As for the case, the choice is really up to you and your personal taste. I like the look of the Corsair Carbide 300R for your price range.

    I'd also recommend getting Windows 7 Home Premium to save cash, unless you want professional for a specific reason.

    At Mwave.com with my suggestions, including a 650W PSU and shipping (I live near Claremont and it'll cost me $30 for shipping) the PC totals $1362. Buying your Case locally will shave a little more off the cost.

    I've heard great things about the Coolermaster QuickFire TK (they come in Red, Brown or Blue Switches) for an entry-level Mechanical Keyboard. I'd suggest doing your research and try to find some to try out before choosing, however.
    misor and JC713 like this.
  3. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    I +1 Luke's suggestions. I suggest you purchase from Newegg if you live in the US/Canada. Amazon is also good.
    CPU: I think you should wait for Haswell since the release is like 2-3 weeks away.
    PSU: Corsair HX750
    GPU: The 7950 is a good choice. But I think you should go with XFX instead since they offer a lifetime warranty: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150588.
    Case: I think he is better off getting a Corsair 200R to save a bit of cash. It is your choice though Brenno29.
    SSD: The 840 Pro is much better and the extra speed will come in handy for the large amount of textures in Arma 3, BF4, etc.

    Windows 7 Home Premium is also the best choice since Pro is only really needed if you want >16GB of RAM.

    LukeDJ I think for an entry level Mechanical keyboard, he should get the Steelseries 6GV2 (Black keys are said to be good for FPS games. There is also a MX Brown switch version of it) not the Quickfire TK (because it is pretty small).
  4. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    He lives in Perth, Western Australia, so Newegg is not an option. Although Amazon ship here, Perth carries the title as the most isolated capitol city in the world, so shipping costs can become a big problem.
  5. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    Oh, interesting.
  6. Brenno29

    Brenno29 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Haha. sounds about right.

    Thanks for all the replies, though I have a few questions. I was told by a few people that the 520W HCG would be sufficient for the build, would bumping the 520 to 620W be a good option?, also what features does Windows 7 Professional have over Home Premium?.

    -Thanks
  7. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    Like I said, a 520W would probably JUST be enough, but you will probably be forced to upgrade later on if you add another GPU or get a more power hungry card, or if you get more Hard Drives, the list goes on. I'd get a good 650W, like the one I suggested above, which will leave some headroom for yourself later (Even a 750W if you are seriously thinking about Crossfire in the future)

    As for Professional vs Home Premium, there aren't a whole lotta differences. The biggest one is that Home Premium can only support up to 16GB of RAM, so if you plan to go beyond that in the future, then maybe think about Professional. I don't think it's worth the $50 price premium, however, and by the time you need over 16GB for a Gaming Rig, we'll probably have a new operating system anyway.
  8. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    I dont know of any games that use above 8GB of RAM. I have 4GB in my laptop and the game that takes up the most memory is Planetside 2 due to the huge maps.
  9. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    Exactly, so I think he should go with Home Premium and save the 50-or-so dollars.
  10. Brenno29

    Brenno29 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I've edited the list a little to obtain a bit of a better setup (tell me what you think, I've added in some of your suggestions :p)

    CPU- Intel Core i5-3570k Quad Core ($235)
    CPU Cooler- Cooler Master Hyper 212+ ($35)
    MoBo- ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ($134)
    Memory- G.Skill Ares series 8GB (2x4) 1600Mhz ($69)
    HDD- Seagate Barracuda 2TB 64mb 7200RPM ($91)
    (Future-proofing a little)
    SSD- Samsung 840 series Pro 128GB ($135)
    Graphics Card- MSI 7950 3GB OC ($329)
    Case- Antec P280-W ($145)(Paying a bit more but I think it looks great and from what I've read it seems to have very good cooling)
    PSU- Antec HCG-620 ($93)
    OS- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ($93)
    OD- Asus Black 24x ($22)

    Total: $1381 (like $50 more than my previous list)

    Also for the keyboard I've had a little look around, I am looking at the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition (I don't really use the 10 key number pad that much) and the Ducky Shine 2 Blue LED (with either the MX red or brown keys, not a fan of the blue keys because of the clickiness (if thats a word XD) and don't think I want the blacks because of the pressure required to push the keys down), anyone have either of these two keyboards and willing to give their opinions?

    -Thanks All, brenno29
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

    Hi, you guys really like your powerful power supplies huh?
    An Antec 520 HCG is a very good seasonic based power supply. In fact the Antec HCG 450w will have no problem with a 7950.

    And there is no real benefit from a more powerful powersupply except if you're planning on adding in a second 7950 later or something like that. Replacing a cpu, adding ram, HDD, is hardly going to make a difference. Also, power supplies do usually work most efficiently near their max load.

    Professional/ultimate edition is needed for multilingual support I believe.

    If you see a rosewill capstone, those are my favorite, I wouldn't hesitate to use a capstone 450w with an overclocked 3570k and a 7970Ghz edition, and has 6+2 power connectors.
     
  12. Brenno29

    Brenno29 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply hellokitty,

    So would I be better off sticking with the Antec HCG-620W, downgrading to a 520W or paying a bit extra for a 520W Modular?
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

    Your system will work just fine with any of those (all very good) power supplies. The Antec HCG 520w is plenty enough for what you have. Having a 620w or a 520w modular is not going to change performance in the least, modular is nice but it's usually more expensive and certainly not necessary, so it's really still up to you. The 620w should be enough for CF 7950s.
  14. Brenno29

    Brenno29 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright, I'll stick with the 520W.

    Also, are you able to tell me what this system could potentially achieve in-game (settings-wise) for games such as Arma II/III, Battlefield 3/4 and Skyrim with mods? (not too worried about minecraft lol). And (sorry XD), would you happen to have any personal opinions about the Duck Shine 2 with Cherry reds? (considering buying it).

    -Thanks, brenno29
  15. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    With a 3570K & HD 7950 you will be able to play BF3,Skyrim and Arma at max settings with playable frames. Playable frames being 30FPS+

    However, when adding mods in for skyrim - It all depends on how many you're going to be running and the particular mods.
  16. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    I think you should go with a Corsair or Seasonic PSU. I have had a few Antec PSUs in the past, some have done me well, while others didnt last as long as my Corsairs did. I think anything below 600W is really pushing it. And @hellokitty, how is 620W enough for 7950s in crossfire??? He needs at least 750W.
  17. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170


    I think hellokitty[hk] offered that suggestion because OP doesn't need 750W of power. Unless I am missing something, he didn't say he intended to crossfire in the future. So, this would make the 750w PSU overkill in regards to his build. Furthermore, while it is good to have headroom for future upgrades. The 520W would still be sufficient. GPU's aren't becoming more power hungry but, the exact opposite. As for HDD's and other potential components. They will not draw enough power to justify that much wattage.


    And, if OP did intend to go crossfire / sli 620w would still be enough to cover him. I would begin to worry about that if he intends to heavily OC both his cards and CPU. This being something OP hasn't expressed interest in either.
  18. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    True! But I had a friend that said his 7950s in CF draw 650W (plus everything else). It may be that they are overclocked heavily. hellokitty[hk] My apologies :).
  19. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    I have two 7950's running 20% OC's on both of them and I don't see that much wattage. My TX850 isn't even being fully utilized with my setup. A 750 would be in the same boat.
  20. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    He water-cooled his though, so he probably overclocked them further.
  21. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    Alright, I still don't see how just his two cards would pull 650w of power. My PC in total maybe pulls that much when you count that my 2600k is OC'd at 4.6. Anyways, I would have to agree with kitty on the aspect of PSU's. 750 is wayyyy overkill. I personally would recommend a Corsair CX600 for this build.
  22. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,669   +868

    Well he is a graphic designer (yes, AMD cards are great for Photoshop), so he has a bunch of HDDs for scratch drives.
  23. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

    650w from two 7950's and something like a 3570k is quite high!
    I'm sure there are plenty of measurements that support me, but just to link a couple:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-review-benchmark,3207-9.html
    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph5476/43907.png
    From those charts, the overclocked (900 Mhz) 7950 is drawing nearly 200 watts (absolute maximum), it wouldn't be too far fetched to assume a max of something like 250 for a heavily overvolted and overclocked card.
    And from the anand graphs the system power consumption playing metro is nearly 400w. 650w may or may not be a measurement error, but it's in the ballpark of the max you could possibly draw in a system like that. I would guess that 95%+ of all CF 7950 systems would not use more than about ~550w. The Antec HCG 620w would do alright, and of course it can handle more than 100% load for transient spikes no problem, it is a nice Seasonic power supply.

    And yes I do believe power consumption of next generation graphics cards is not going to increase much and same with processors and other hardware, so even for the upgrade route I'm not too keen on suggesting 750W+ power supplies.

    Also, there are no need for apologies here :)
    JC713 likes this.
  24. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    Back to the rest of his build, I would get the Hyper 212 Evo, as the 212+ is an earlier version.

    Otherwise that is a great build :)
  25. Brenno29

    Brenno29 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Would the 212+ be sufficient for this build as MSY (I am using them for components) unfortunately don't stock them?


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