Buying a gaming rig, would appreciate any opinions

By bradicul
Oct 23, 2012
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  1. Hey guys, I recently decided to upgrade my PC and was advised by "xcylent" that this would be the place to come for a good source of info (I need it). The new PC I'm after is going to be a gaming PC but I only have a budget of max $1200AUD. 90% of the time I use my computer for online games (battlefield 3, CSS and so on) and watching movies/videos. I'm not too fussed about upgrading my monitor, mouse and keyboard as I think I'll worry about that later in the year. I was wondering if I could get some advice on good setups within my price range so I don't buy the first rig offered to my blindly. Thanks in advance, Brad.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    Who will you be using to buy the parts? We can suggest systems in your local currency then as they'll differ from USD prices.

    Also, besides the keyboard, mouse and display, are you recycling any other parts from an existing build? e.g. DVD drive, hard drives, case or Windows license etc.
  3. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Hey mate, glad to see you made it here :)

    Since you live in Australia like me (yay), take a look at some of these stores:
    www.pccasegear.com
    www.MSY.com.au
    www.umart.com.au
    www.scorptech.com.au

    In my opinion, PCCG and MSY are the best, simply because I've bought from both of them and had no trouble whatsoever.
    I have also bought from Umart, but for some reason I didn't really like the place. The website, store, and staff all just struck me as a bit slack. Don't let that deter you though, pick whichever suits your needs the best!

    Alright, let's get cracking on your actual rig.

    One thing you should probably do first Is decide who is going to be doing the upgrading, because If you're unwilling to perform the surgery on your computer then you need to find someone to do it for you ASAP :)

    Moving on, here's a quick setup I threw together on PCCG.
    A few things that are up to you:

    1. Colour scheme. Black/blue? Black/red? Black/white?
    2. Aesthetics. Silent &sleek, sexy, clean build, or a more Gaming, Windows & LEDS, In-your-face build?
    3. Storage? How much do you need? I have a 500GB HDD and I find myself getting along just fine. SSD? did you want one? It's probably a good idea to do so, but it's up to you.
    4. Blu ray. you mentioned you watch movies, so would a Blu Ray burner be in order?
    5. Fanboyism. AMD or intel? Nvidia or ATI?
    6. Do you already have a copy of windows, or do we need to buy a fresh one?
    7. Will you be overclocking?

    That being said, here we go:

    Case: Coolermaster CM 690II Advanced - $119
    Great looking case. Probably leaning toward the more 'flashy, gaming' aesthetics, considering the cool design, blue LED fan, and side window. Excellent features, and great cable management. A friend of mine owns this case, and it's pretty darn good.

    CPU: intel i5 3570K - $233
    This is arguably the most popular CPU at this current point in time. With good reason, too.
    Quad core, 3.4GHz, Ivy Bridge. K series, so you can overclock if you choose. More than enough grunt to power through any modern day games comfortably.

    CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO - $35
    Widely regarded as one of (if not) the best air CPU coolers. This thing should have no trouble keeping temperatures in check.

    GPU: Gigabyte HD7870 2GB OC - $255
    This card is pretty darn powerful, you should have no difficulty playing any games at a single screen resolution (1920x1080).
    Plus, with Gigabyte's crazy cooling (3 fans!) you should have no difficulty keeping things cool.

    SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB - $99
    Basically the use for this is to use it as a boot drive, and a select few other programs that you feel need snappy speed. The result? much faster load times when doing general computing. Also, you get to brag about how it takes you less than 10 seconds to boot up. A worthwhile investment.

    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $79
    7200RPM, Hard drive. not much else to say. I have the 500GB model running in my rig right now, and have had to problems thus far. 1TB should be more than enough for all your moves, music, games, etc.

    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) Low Profile - $49
    8GB, which is more than enough, 1600MHz, 1.5V. excellent set of RAM, and for a pretty affordable price too.
    went for the Low Profile set to avoid any confrontations with exuberant CPU Cooler fans.

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H - $145
    Great Motherboard, ATX, plenty of features, and rock solid. Not much else to say. This thing should last you quite a while.

    Optical Drive: LG DVDRW - $21
    Generic disk drive, nothing special. Feel free to upgrade to bluray though, but it's gonna cost far more.

    Power Supply: Seasonic M12II 620W - $129
    Rock solid stability, more than enough power. Modular design, Active PFC, and 80+ bronze. great Power supply, great price.

    TOTAL: $1,165


    Alright, that's the list, and HERE is a direct link to the list on the PCCG website.


    Feel free to comment on any changes/preferences you may have, and sorry for the wall of text. just trying to be thorough.
    St1ckM4n and slh28 like this.
  4. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah sorry my description was pretty blunt. I already have keyboard, mouse, 5.1 speakers, monitor, headset and WNA3100. All other parts like HDD, sound card and windows license from old PC will be given to a work colleague. I was reading the other day that windows 7 bought after July 2012 will receive a free upgrade to windows 8 so I'll just buy a new version of windows I think. I live approx. 1.5hrs from Sydney center so preferably Sydney stores and out of state purchases as a last resort. Hey xcylent, I don't know where to start thanking you for all the help so far. That setup is by far better than the one I showed you the other day. Cosmetically, I'm not too fussed with looks as long as everything works well. I currently have 500gb HDD which is enough for me now but for the price difference, 1tb seems a better decision (I'm sure I'll find a way to fill it up). I think just a generic DVD drive would suffice as I have a PS3 with 55" LED t.v that I watch my blue rays on. I don't really have any preference as to brands and even less knowledge to make a good decision. As for overclocking, I'm not too tech savvy, so I think I'll leave it before I break it.
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

  6. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    I'm glad to help :)
    and trust me, if you get your rig and it looks like poop, as opposed to being clean, color-coordinated, and aesthetically pleasing, it'll be just that much less awesome. e.g., I just dropped $20 on cable sleeving. worth it?
    absolutely.
  7. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tip slh28, yeah as I said before, I'd rather not tamper with things I don't fully understand. That's right xcylent, although the aesthetics aren't the highest of priorities with the new system, it would be nice to get something that's the best of both worlds. I've actually updated my wishlist thanks to the info you guys have given me. I have increased my budget to accommodate for a couple of new toys so I can start fresh with the new system. The only thing I'm short of is a decent (<$50) gaming mouse, can I get a couple of suggestions please. Does this look a little more respectable?

    [​IMG]

    Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard
    Powercolor Radeon HD7950 3GB
    Intel Core i5 3570
    Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H-MVP Motherboard
    Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3
    Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD Retail Box
    CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST1000DM003
    CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced with Window USB3.0
    LG GH24NS90 24x SATA DVD-RW Drive OEM
    Seasonic M12II 620W Power Supply
    Creative Draco HS-850 Gaming Headset
    PCCG System Assembly Service
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    Looks good.

    The PSU won't leave you much room for graphics card upgrades though. Also, the System Assembly Service charge doesn't include install of the CPU cooler (it's after-market). You can try your luck, though.
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

  10. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hey guys, sorry its been a while since I've been on. The other day a computer store I was getting a quote off offered me this setup. Can you guys give me any feedback as to weather its a) a good setup b) what fps range I could be looking forward to in battlefield 3 on ultra settings. As before, I wont be overclocking. Thank you in advance.
  11. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Not sure whether referring to this^ build, or a different one?
  12. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Oh it didn't show up. here it is.

    CSCMRC692AKWN5
    COOLERMASTER RC-692A-KWN5 690 II
    Advanced BK W/window USB3.0

    CPUI511553570
    Intel Core i5 3570 BX80637I53570 6MB
    LGA1155 4 Core 4 Thread 3.4GHz 3.8GHz
    Turbo Intel HD Graphics 2500 77W Max TDP

    MEMD31600CO8GBX2C9L
    Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB)
    DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Low Profile Vengeance
    module for AMD, Intel Dual Ch

    HDSSDSAMZ7PC128B
    Samsung MZ-7PC128B/WW 128GB SSD 830
    Series - SATA III 6Gbs, 520/320MB/s 2xnm
    Toggle DDR NAND, 3-Core ARMv9 MCX
    Controller 3y

    FANCPUCMH212EVO
    CoolerMaster RR-212E-20PK-R1 Hyper 212
    EVO Universal CPU Cooler
    2011/1366/1156/1155/775 and AM3/AM2

    HDDTSEST1000DM003
    Seagate ST1000DM003 BARRACUDA
    1TB,7200RPM,SATAIII 6GB/S,3.5",64MB

    CDDVDWDLLGSATAB LG Duallayer DVD Burner Sata Black 24X 1 22.23 24.45 22.23 24.45
    PSUSSS12II620W Seasonic S12II Bronze 620W Power Supply 1 122.84 135.12 122.84 135.12

    SWMSW7HP64
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    OEM

    VIDPCAX78702GBD5
    PowerColor AX7870-2GBD5-2DH ATi HD7870
    GHZ Edition, 1000Mhz 2Gb DDR5 PCIE 3.0,
    DVI,HDMI,MiniDisplay

    MB1155ARH77PRO4M
    ASRock H77 PRO4-M MB, LGA 1155, Intel
    H77, 4x DDR3, PCIE 3.0, VGA, DVI, HDMI,
    SATA3, 7.1 Ch, Gb LAN, USB3.0, Quad
    CrossFireX, mA

    A116
    Assembly - High End PC, Testing and Cable
    Management

    Total Inc GST 1,256.62
  13. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Looks good to me, but wouldn't this ^ cost you like 100 bucks more?
     
  14. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    They changed the mb and gpu to drop the price down to this price. originally it was this.

    A123 Labour Charge > 1 Hour
    1​
    90.91​
    100.00​
    100.00​
    CDDVDWDLLGSATAB LG Duallayer DVD Burner Sata Black 22x
    1​
    22.23​
    24.45​
    24.45​
    CPUI511553570 Intel Core i5 3570 BX80637I53570 6MB LGA1155 4 Core 4 Thread 3.4GHz 3.8GHz Turbo Intel HD Graphics 2500 77W Max TDP
    1​
    188.08​
    206.89​
    206.89​
    CSCMRC692AKWN5 COOLERMASTER RC-692A-KWN5 690 II Advanced BK W/window USB3.0
    1​
    105.93​
    116.52​
    116.52​
    FANCPUCMH212EVO CoolerMaster RR-212E-20PK-R1 Hyper 212 EVO Universal CPU Cooler 2011/1366/1156/1155/775 and AM3/AM2
    1​
    34.50​
    37.95​
    37.95​
    HDDTSEST1000DM003 Seagate ST1000DM003 BARRACUDA 1TB,7200RPM,SATAIII 6GB/S,3.5",64MB
    1​
    71.81​
    78.99​
    78.99​
    HDSSDSAMZ7PC128B Samsung MZ-7PC128B/WW 128GB SSD 830 Series - SATA III 6Gbs, 520/320MB/s 2xnm Toggle DDR NAND, 3-Core ARMv9 MCX Controller 3y
    1​
    90.82​
    99.90​
    99.90​
    MB1155GAH77D3HMVP Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H-MVP 4 x DDR3 / 2 x PCI-E3.0 x 16 / 2 x SATA3 / 6 x USB3.0 / HDMI / D-Sub / DVI-D / GBLAN / RAID / ATX
    1​
    95.36​
    104.90​
    104.90​
    MEMD31600CO8GBX2C9L Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Low Profile Vengeance module for AMD, Intel Dual Ch
    1​
    44.07​
    48.48​
    48.48​
    PSUSSS12II620W Seasonic S12II Bronze 620W Power Supply
    1​
    122.84​
    135.12​
    135.12​
    SWMSW7HP64 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM
    1​
    84.54​
    92.99​
    92.99​
    VIDPCAX7950V2 Power Colour AX7950-3GBD5-2DHV2 HD7950, 3G DDR5, DVI, HDMI, 2XminiDISPLAY, 800 Mhz,
    1​
    286.00​
    314.60​
    314.60​
    would the ASRock H77 PRO4-M MB and the PowerColor AX7870-2GBD5-2DH ATi HD7870 be able to cope with bf3 on ultra settings though? The computer store says it can but he could also say the new rig can spin gold when the screensaver is on and I'd believe him.
  15. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    That AsRock is a micro-ATX board, I'd still go for the Gigabyte mobo if they're around the same price.

    What resolution is your monitor? A 7870 won't play BF3 on ultra settings (I.e. 4x MSAA) on a 1080p screen. You really need a 7950 (preferably with an overclock) to get consistent 60fps+ framerates
  16. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah I think for the extra $100, I may as well go for the Gigabyte h77 MB and 7950. How do you guys rate the powercolor 7950 gpu? Its cheaper and I'm not looking to OC anyway. The monitor will be upgraded to a samsung 21.5" s22b300b led monitor later but at the moment I only have a BenQ FP91G+ (I've had for years and does the job for now).
  17. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Actually a 7870 will probably run BF3 at max settings with your current monitor, but I don't know how you're coping with a 5:4 monitor... won't give you great FOV in game. If you're thinking of a 1920x1080 monitor then the 7950 will be noticeably better in some games.

    Powercolor have been making AMD cards for ages and that cooler is pretty decent. You'd be crazy not to overclock it though, you're looking at something like a 30-50% free performance gain as 7950's are very underclocked at the default 800Mhz. Overclocking your GPU just involves downloading MSI Afterburner and moving the core and memory sliders (keep the voltage the same or a 0.02-0.03V increase, any more might be a bit harmful if you don't know what you're doing). It's very easy and doesn't involve going into the BIOS like CPU overclocking. Just keep an eye on temperatures using Open HWMonitor or Realtemp and make sure the GPU temp doesn't exceed 85-90C under load and you're fine.
  18. bradicul

    bradicul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Oh I thought OC involved a lot more than that. It was never something I looked into but now I wish I did. I was just always worried about overdoing it and breaking something. Yeah the monitor will be gone within the next couple of months but due to November being notorious for bills for me, it'll have to wait.
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,256   +110

    I've been under the impression that the thermalright truespirit 120 does a better job than the Hyper212 at a similar/better price point.


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