$1000-1300 Gaming Rig. Need some parts advice


Oct 3, 2011
Hey, this is the rig I am planning to get in the next few weeks and I was hoping for some help on some part choices.

Approximate Purchase Date: next few weeks

Budget Range: 1000-1300 (USD) Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies, Office Work.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers,DVD drive.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, Australian based stores.

Country of Origin: Australia, Queensland

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Nvidia graphics.

Overclocking: if needed.

SLI or Crossfire: If the budget allows.

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Open to any changes/opinions. Quiet would be nice but not willing to pay extra for it so not really an option I guess.

• CPU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 ] Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K [/url]

• MOBO:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269 ] ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard [/url]

• RAM: Hoping to choose from http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-channel-ram-ddr3-4gb,2618.html ] http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-channel-ram-ddr3-4gb,2618.html [/url]

• HSF: Open to suggestions.

• HDD: 1 TB open to suggestions.

• PSU: Open to suggestions.

• GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N570OC-13I Rev2.0 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP

• DVD: Not needed

• Case: Open to suggestions.

• Thermal Compound: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007 ] Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM [/url]

As I understand that GPU is quite big when taking the case into account.
Thanks for any help!


Jan 7, 2003
Sup cod50

First lets start with your PSU and Case.
The Thermaltake Element G is an excellent case, its everything you could want in a case, buy it without a PSU at around $110 USD.

For the PSU buy a Bronze rated or better Enermax 700+ watt with over 100 amps on the +12v rail.
Next lets talk about your CPU, and Graphics card.
Wait half a month and buy the new AMD Bulldozer FX 8150 8-core, it is the better choice right now for gaming, 8 physical cores is better than 4 no matter what Intels Hyperthreading propaganda machine is spewing. Im a huge Intel guy so trust me when I tell you if im recommending AMD over Intel its for good reason. You just cant beat an 8 core CPU clocked at 3.6Ghz with 4.2Ghz turbo mode priced @ $266.

For the graphics card take advantage of the onboard GPU and run crossfire by adding a AMD Radeon HD 6970.

Next buy 16GB of High Quality 1.5v DDR3, buy one step faster than the required pc3 12800 so you can OC a little bit and squeeze a little extra horsepower out of the CPU.

This should point you in the right direction.


I'll add a few suggestions.

Hard Drive: If you're using a 1TB hard drive, if you have room in your budget, why not pair it with a low-cost 64GB SSD? You can score a Crucial M4 for around $95 on Newegg or Tiger, and use that as your primary, then the 1TB as your secondary.

Case: I like the Thermaltake case, but I also highly recommend the Corsair Carbide 400R and the Cooler Master HAF 912 for a low budget case.

PSU: Antec, Corsair, Cougar, and Silverstone are all excellent PSU makers. Avoid Ultra PSUs and just about anything that's a no-name, non-branded PSU. Make sure it's certified 80+ gold and is a 12V single-rail.

GPU: Here's the thing about GPUs - they're actually getting smaller and are starting to generate far less heat than previous generations, the dual GTX 550s that I run take up a third the room in my case what my ATI 5800 and GTX 280 did. EVGA is excellent for NVIDIA-based cards, and use Sapphire or XFX for AMD / ATI-based cards - the 7XXX series is due out any day now, I don't know what NVIDIA has in store. If you want to do SLI or Crossfire, it's not really needed you can just get one card for now and then get a second once the build is up and running and you see what your primary uses are, etc.
The Thermaltake Element G is a good case feature wise, unfortunately it apparently is lacking in the build quality department.

A PSU with 100A on the 12V rail(s) would be a ~1200W PSU, which is extremely overkill for all single, and almost all pairs of cards. You would need to want to run three or four cards to justify a 1200W PSU.

16GB of RAM is overkill for most things, but gaming especially and having that 16GB of RAM won't help gain anymore CPU performance unless the task being performed really does need the extra RAM.
Arctic Silver 5 is a very high performing thermal compound, however it has the disadvantage of being electrically conductive, so you definitely want to make sure that it doesn't overflow. And it has a length curing time of ~200hrs. There are other thermal compounds around which don't have these drawbacks and can compete with AC5 in terms of temps.

11" is definitely long for a graphics card and will effect your choice of case. For instance, you might have to remove the HDD cage in the Element G to get an 11" card to fit.

I don't know if you know this, based on the OP, but Newegg don't ship outside the US and China.
Do you know what Australian stores you will be using? Are they internet based or are you going to go into a premises?
If it is going to buy off the internet and don't know of any good ones then usually I find that going to the 'where to buy' page of major manufacturers like Antec and Cooler Master is a good way to get an idea.
I don't personally know which is the best Australian etailer is to use, but if you are buying online and can find a good one, or one is recommended to you then I would be able to work to a budget in Australian dollars.


Oct 3, 2011
Hey thanks for the replies;

g-unit, If budget allows I will take your advice and pick up an SSD :)
After looking at the cases you recommend I stumbled on "Fractal Design Define R3 White ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case" which I really like, It fits my graphics card too, would you have any comments on that one?
and finally im still stuck on PSU choice, they all look more expensive than I was anticipating with the +80 Gold rating, is that a must or is silver/bronze acceptable?
Thanks for your help.

Silvune, Yea i thought 16GB was a bit much, I might save some money and get 4GB of "G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM" and see how that works out.

If I used the Fractal Design Define R3 it would fit my graphics card with a snug fit.
Do you have any recommendations with PSU wattage if i was to have it future proofed for SLI.

I will be using an Australian online store here (http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=2) but the search is horrible XD, I believe its the cheapest you can get in Australia from a legit retailer though.
If they don't have the stock I want I will be able to get it in Dubai when I visit in a few weeks, they have everything you could want but no online store just walk ins, but cheap as newegg.

And I was interested in why, in other threads, no one recommends the asrock z68 extreme 7, instead only the extreme 4, I cant find any reasoning behind it and was hoping you knew. Thanks again.

After further looking I found "CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply" , its not gold rated but its got a single 12v rail like you said and its a nice price! and 850 watts for future proofing, what do you think?


Jul 12, 2010
I use the white Define R3 as my personal system, and I really love it.

As for the PSU, take a look at this Antec 620W, I've read reviews of it and its on my shortlist for PSUs with high build quality (it's actually a rebranded Seasonic internally). That'll save you a lot of money, 620W should be sufficient for SLI.


Oct 3, 2011

Is the Define R3 ok temperature wise? or does it run quite hot? did you put any extra fans in yours?
and thanks for the psu info, can always use some savings :p

I think most people recommend the Extreme4 (and now Extreme3), is because it has most, if not all of the features that people want, as well as the performance, yet they don't cost that much. Usually the value of motherboards like the Extreme7 is questionable, as there are examples of boards like that which don't offer anything above and beyond what the more 'basic' models offer - they might claim to, but don't always necessarily deliver.
I usually view those extremely high end boards as being more necessary for extreme overclockers.

Obviously if the Extreme7 has all the features you want/need and no other board does then stick with it, but if you can find a board which does fulfil your criteria at a cheaper price then IMO it makes sense to save the money.

While a system with two GTX 570s might not consume more than 620W I don't think most people would be comfortable running such a system on a 620W PSU, unless they never stressed their system by playing games, for instance.
Another 'problem' with a 620W PSU is that the High Current Gamer HCG-620 doesn't have enough hardwired PCIe cables - it only has two, you'd need four. You could of course use adapters.

I think a 750-850W PSU would be better, mostly to provide the necessary cables and decrease the likelihood that the fan would become audible.
This is a good one:
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 775W 80Plus Silver Modular $150

As far as the Corsair TX850 is concerned, it has been replaced by a newer version, the 850TXV2 which is more efficient and generally better. TBH it would be worth a slight premium over the original, but sometimes it is actually cheaper.


Jul 12, 2010
Nice catch on the cables, Silvune.

The Define R3 is designed for noise reduction (it has a lot of sound-dampening material inside the case) but performs comparably to really porous cases. I get great temps while gaming, and my case is full of low RPM fans.