Christmas Present Build for GF Advice


Jul 1, 2012
Approximate Purchase Date: Next two weeks

Budget Range: Need to stay AROUND $1850

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 40% Graphics Design (Photoshop, Illustrator), 40% Gaming (Skyrim, GW2, BF3, etc..), 20% Other (School Work, Reddit)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, I want to get her a decent one for graphics design

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: New Egg or Amazon

Location: Portland, OR

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe, Would be nice to have the option in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, again be nice to have when we need it

Your Monitor Resolution: I like 1920x1200... but if there is a 1920x1080 for way cheaper that is better that would probably work.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Building my GF a PC for Christmas to replace her crappy laptop!

Parts List:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($379.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Red) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Sparkle 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($129.64 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($127.28 @ CompUSA)
Keyboard: Lite-On SK-1788/BS Wired Standard Keyboard ($14.97 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Razer ABYSSUS Wired Optical Mouse ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1705.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 15:26 EST-0500)

Any advice on ways to increase performance without cutting price? Or cutting price without affecting performance?



Apr 13, 2012
Ditch that Sparkle power supply. Any quality 650W power supply should be enough for 670 SLI, such as this Rosewill Capstone 650 for $90, or this Seasonic M12II 620, also for $90. Note that the Seasonic is modular, and the Rosewill is more efficient.

Also, there's no noticeable difference between 1866 and 1600 MHz memory, and those tall heatspreaders will likely conflict with the Hyper 212. This set of low-profile Vengeance is a good alternative.

And then, maybe use those savings and get her a nicer keyboard/mouse? Media keys are always appreciated, and I'm sure macro keys would be a nice addition, too (especially so for graphic design).