Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nov 2012 - $750 Gaming PC

Description: Powered by a Core i5-2500k, this mid-sized desktop has officially entered enthusiast territory. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Go ahead, no one will care if it looks weird... Of course, this powerhouse CPU means you get the best gaming performance avaiable out of a mid-priced CPU. Non-gaming performance is also excellent, thanks to the quad-core design of the chip. The K series CPUs from Intel are also overclockable, meaning that you get an automatic extension on the life of you machine. A year or two from now, if you decide you need more power, go in the BIOS, bump up the multiplier to 40 or so, and you get a nice 4.9 GHz quad core CPU in less than 30 seconds. RAM is 8GB, upgradable to more. A beefy 600W power supply provides plenty of clean efficient power for this machine. Since this PC is overclockable, a high-performance CPU cooler is included in the build. The 7950 is factory-overclocked a nice 100MHz to give an out-of-the-box boost to gaming performance.

Note: MicroCenter has these CPUs on sale at ridiculous prices. If you have a store nearby, I'd recommend you get your CPU and motherboard there for even more savings (easily $100 less than other retailers).

Expect excellent 2560x1600 performance out of most games at high settings and good performance with multiple HD monitors at medium settings.

Cost Breakdown
Subtotal MIRs Total

Individual Parts
Motherboard BIOSTAR TZ77B $90 $20 Newegg
RAM G.Skill 8GB DDR3 1600MHz $25 --- Newegg
Power Supply OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W $75 $10 Newegg
Hard Drive WD Caviar Black 500GB $70 --- Newegg
Case NZXT GAMMA $35 --- Amazon
Graphics Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 $265 --- Amazon Warehouse

Type Part Part Price MIR Link
CPU + Cooler Intel Core i5-2500k XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 $210 --- Newegg


SSD: Budget-friendly SSD substitutions remain the same as from the $300 and $500 builds. 60GB should be able to hold your OS, basic applications, and 3 - 6 full games. If you're willing to go slightly over budget, $90-$100 will get you a 90GB or 120GB SSD.
Crucial M4 64GB $66 --- Amazon
Samsung 830 64GB $63 --- Amazon
Kingston HyperX 3K 90GB $88 --- Amazon
Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB $100 --- Amazon
Sandisk Extreme 120GB $100 --- Amazon
Intel 330 120GB $100 --- Amazon
Intel 330 180GB $100 --- Newegg

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