$1500 Gaming PC Build

Hello all, this is my first post (was lurking around before) and this is a build that my friend asked me to make, he is living in Canada now and will probably come back (international transportation comes at play here as well). So I was wondering if I should change any of these things. (Mouse, keyboard and monitor have to be included)

[center]Updated some things

Cost: $1250 (no mail rebait/discount added)

The things in bold are the ones that Im not certain about/want to change, maybe.

(Waiting for Logan to post the 8350 video build)  [/center]

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB - $219.99
  • Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-V Lk ATX LGA1155 - $146.99
  • Processor: AMD FX-8350 - $189.99
  • Mobo: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ - $149.99
  • PSU: OCZ Z-SERIES 850W 80+ Gold Certified  - $129.99    (overkill? I was thinking of 700w for future proof maybe)
  • DVD: ASUS DVD-E818A7T/BLK/B/GEN Black - $17.99  or get a 16GB USB drive 
  • Mouse: Razer DeathAdder 3500 - $49.99     
  • Monitor: (He wants to change to a ~21-22inch)
  • Keyboard: Cmstorm Quick Fire Rapid Compact *IR-$5* - $68.98     
  • Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE - $86
  • HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 64MB OEM - $94.99
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Case - $95 (change this? was thinking of getting the HAF 912)
  • GFX: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB - $305 (any other brand version is better?)
  • RAM: G.SKILL F3-12800CL10D-16GBXL Ripjaws X 16GB 2X8GB 1600 (or 1866) - $73.67    

This is the current build that I made, Im mainly wanting to know if I should change the mobo/CPU/GPU and need a good monitor recommendation, his limit is about $1.5k  (doesnt have to get to that if it becomes cheaper that will also sufic, and about the case/monitor would they be able to be put inside a bag to transport via international airline so that he travels with the PC?)

I would consider and upgrade to a carbide 400R, as that has superior cooling to the 300R, but no window =(. If you want a window, I would suggest NZXT Tempest 410. I have a 27" ASUS IPS monitor (VE26Q) and it is incredible, dont get anything smaller than 24". Also, get a 700W bronze PSU (like a corsair CX-M) and spend the extra cash on a Graphics card like a 660ti or 7950.

Doesnt matter if it has a window or not, just want something good for cooling tho that can also fin inside a bag for international travel. And he wants something less than a 24inch because of the bag size (tho I sent him a video of Linus putting a 24inch with abou 3 inches of extra space inside a bag. Would like some alternative ones tho if possible.
And would the 7950 be better than the 660?

the 660 is slighly better than a 7870, so the 7950 is better. And the 400R is not a small case, my 500R is as big as some full towers so... dont know if that will fit it a case. If you get a 21.5" monitor get a damn good one then.

a 7870 is better then a 660... a 660 uses less power trough

Here is my shot at it: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yAa7

You don't need an optical drive - you can install Windows from a flash drive, if you really want Windows. However, to save money and to prepare for the upcoming Linux-gaming shift, I would recommend installing Ubuntu. It is much cleaner and safer than Windows, and has a lot more free software. Optical drives are only needed if you plan on playing/installing a lot of old games. Get the cheapest one you can find, unless you want to watch BluRays. That is the only reason I have one - I love BluRay. Hope I helped!


Brennan Riddell

I see but are they in the same price range? If so I'll change it to a 7870, tho any specific...'fabricant' (ASUS, Sapphire, EVGA etc) And lets change it to a 7950/7970 compared to the nVidia ones.

Yeah I wasnt going to put the optical drive in but he might use some old DVDs or something...gonna ask him if he even needs it and if not just gonna change it to a 8GB/16GB USB drive. And no need for the Windows 7, and I was thinking of getting him another HDD so that he can dual boot (hate dividing HDD) and we even talked about going to Ubuntu but came to a result of 'its not yet to the acceptable stage of gaming yet' tho we are always checking on the updates/% of games accepted.

And about that setup, very nice site by the way;

  • I would change the RAM to 1600 (max would be 1866 as I dont really want to 'use' that much on RAM)
  • really liked that case, since he probably wont get Optical Drive its usefull (tho do you think it will fit inside of a airport bag?);
  • the Mouse I would like a bunch of recommendations/reviews, I've got a few friends who have the DeathAdder and they say they are loving it/tested it out and really liked it tho havent tested many others to compare.
  • And how does the CM Hyper 212 compare to the NZXT HAVIK 140?

1600 mHz memory would work now, but 2400mHz will keep the system running games for much longer into the future.

The case is a mid-tower, so it should fit in a good-sized luggage easily.

The mouse and keyboard are more of a personal aspect of the build - get what you know works well and feels good.

The CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo is an affordable CPU cooler, but it is low performance. It works well for $25, but for overclocking and longevity, the NZXT Havix 140 will perform leagues better than the CM Hyper 212. The Havik is a high perfirmance cooler, and will probably keep that i5 25 degrees cooler. The Havik is one of the best coolers for the money, but if there is another $20 in the budget, I recommend the Phanteks PH-TC14PE. It is one of, if not the best air cooler on the market. It keeps my i7 3770k @ 4.6gHz at 30 degrees C stable, maxing out at 39 during games (even after 4 hours of Borderlands 2). Don't get the Hyper 212 just because it is cheaper - the performance of the NZXT Havik will be so much better than the CM Hyper 212 Evo.



Brennan Riddell

Yeah, thats also the reason why Im thinking of upgrading to the 1866...Im currently at 4GB 1333MHz myself (lack of money).

And nice, I will upgrade to that CPU cooler then, thank you for the recommendations.

P.S. Is there anyway I can see the PM's that I get and thread notification? I cant seem to find that anywhere on my profile and I got an email saying I have a PM but when I click to access it, I get the 'You are not authorized to access this page.' error.

I would get the 8350 instead of the i5, like logan said it beats it 9/10 times and it cheaper. (you can find it on amazon for 184.99!)

Cool it with the Havik 140, it's worth the extra 30-35 dollars

Also for the Motherboard, I would get the Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard, asus good quality pretty cheap too...


If your budget is $1500... Get the Sapphire 7970, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202008

With overclocking this is on par with the 680, and it's only $75 more than the 7950.


If sound is a concern for you then stick with the Fractal design, but if airflow is more important then get the original phantom,

its about $120 right now but i've seen it as low as 89.99 on sale.


For the memory I would pay the extra few dollars to get 1866 over 1600, just don't forget about the cl. Mushkin is a good brand...


I would only get a 850 watt power supply if you are planning to go crossfire in the future, if not it's probably overkill... Just get a 700 watt 


I am about to do another build myself and these are parts that i am putting into mine.


My consern isnt really the sound or anything, he just needs a case that is good and can fit inside of a airport bag (can be those hard ones like Linus used on his trip to CES and took the monitor out)

Also anyone have any 21"-22" monitors to recommend?

And almost forgot, whats the best thermalpaste right now? (Artic Silver?)

Aswell as a 700W PSU.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zaaL    well i went a little over but i got you a 6gb gpu!!! for all the pixels! *i know its Extreme but if you're doing multi monitor gaming its a very nice card. if your just sticking to one then a regular 7970 will be more than enough

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zaxl  More practical build. you could skip the 1tb hd and go with a larger ssd. or put the money into a nice 7970

and i looked at the psu for this build and it dose have 2X(4+4 pin) so you will be-able to give your board massive power for overclocking.

ps if you want to water cool in the future i would stick with the stock cooler and buy the H220 when it comes out it's better  than the H100i and you can expand on to it by adding more radiators and water-blocks. it is the best thing to get to as a jumping off point for water cooling. You also get much nice audio with the CFV MB as well as 2400mhz memory support  and its the best mb out right now for am3+

 1.2 k almost the same stuff http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zaDd

but at that price you could add 2 gpus http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zaEI

Very nice builds, tho I personally liked this one:

But chaning the SSD to a 64GB one (he's going to migrate to Ubuntu after some time, tho going to talk to him about the space, so 120GB could be it)

And instead of 8GB change to 16GB (Or is 12GB good?), and the monitor HAS to be 21"-22" :\ its for international travel wise...(Fit in the bag with some space left).

And since you get the dual GPU this PSU: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx750

Do you think I should change it to that one for the current build? (Not trying to go overkill, and most likely wont go CrossFire, energy here would cost too much.-Not in USA/CA-)

1) If he is going to dual boot then the larger SSD will be better, from personal exp.

2)you can go 16gb of ram or 12 but the mb dose not support triple chanal ram and all 12gb sets at triple chanal. so you would have them in singel chanal and it will affect preformance. with 8/16gb you would be running in dual chanal.

the only prob with the asus MB is that it has a 20+4 pin, and 8 pin, and 4 pin power connectors. you dont have to use last 4pin but if he is going to be running 2 cards then he should use it. and i was trying to find a psu with two 4+4 pin connectors.

ok so the solution i came up with is to keep the 120gb ssd (keep in mind that i don't care if you change anything) lower the psu to 750w but move to 80+gold because the cost of power (this psu still has the 2 x4+4 pin connectors). bump up to 16gb of ram still at 1866 cas of 9 and move to a 21.5" monitor http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zihw

and I was able to keep the price before rebates at $1510.80 compared to the first build http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zaxl%C2%A0  $1510.75

:O Very nice very nice, tho would the 'Asus M5A99FX PRO' be better? He's not going to use RAID and they are both almost the same. (With a $60 dif tho). Really liking the build. (Also in the Canada 'version' it went down to $1480.70 !!! But it doesnt seem to be having that monitors price)


Also my friend said that there is some type of 13% tax that you have to pay or something like that? (I think it might be for shipping maybe?)

if you want to go with a cheaper mb the next best is the  msi +/-$170 mb http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zEyG   $1430

Okay update:

Friend bought all the pieces and is waiting for the arival, had to get them all from the closest NCIX Ca store because he his monthly credit limit had reached. Got all the parts perfectly! Except the PSU, he had to get a non-modular one since the store didnt have the OCZ XT 750W modular. Tho aside from that all went well.

Thank you all for the help! ^.^