My first gaming rig for christmas 2012


Nov 18, 2012
hi guys,

i am new to this community and expecting to get a custom built computer from NCIX for Christmas. My max budget is $ 2200 or $ 2500 dollars with tax. I live in Ontario, Canada so the tax here is 0.13%. I am also ready to spend a couple of $100 extra if I have to. I am mostly going to be using this computer for playing games and to operate software like CAD and inventor since i'm a mechanical engineering student. Since this is going to be my first desktop computer after freakin 10 years, I don't want to built it by myself; I'm scared I might screw up. So far from my research I came up with this built for the rig. Feel free to advise me on this and make changes as you like. I want as much as help I can get from you guys. Thank You in advance.

processor: Intel Core i7 3770K LGA 1155 3.5GHZ Ivy Bridge ($335.86)

CPU cooler: Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance ($103.50)

Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77 ATX ($229.69)

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2*8 GB 1600GHZ ($149.00)

GPU: EVGA Gtx 680 Superclocked signature ($500)

Case: Cooler Master HAF X EATX Tower Case ($ 170)

Power supply: Corsair professional series Gold CMPSU-1200AX 1200W ($300)

SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB ($125)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB ($98)

Bluray Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST ($65)

Total : $ 2291.51 without tax.

Since I am expecting to order this computer over the boxing week, I expect the price of the components to drop. Advice from you guys will be very appreciable. Thank You.



Nov 18, 2012
THE total $2291.51 includes a copy of Windows 7 Professional, professional assembly of the rig and shipping fee with insurance for the rig. But this does not includes the tax. Thank You.
Unless you have money to burn, you can do very well for les.

1. For gaming, a 3570K is as good as it gets. Save $100 there. Pick an option for a conservative overclock to 4.0-4.3.

2. Ditch the liquid cooler. A $30 cm hyper212 will be almost as good, and be quieter and more reliable to boot.

3. Any Z77 based motherboard will perform just as well at half the cost of the sabretooth.

4. Corsair platinum is mostly hype and high heat spreaders are not needed for 1.5v ram. You should pay about $75 for 16gb.

5. If you love the case, buy it. But to hold your parts and give you decent cooling, you can pay half that and do just as well.

6. I might go for 180gb or 240gb on the ssd. Then you may never need a hard drive.
Samsung 830 or Intel 330 would be my preferred drives.

7. A 1200w psu is waay overkill. A GTX680 only needs a 550W psu. Corsair is good, as is Seasonic.

8. There is little that the home user needs that home premium does not give you. As a student, you may be eligible for an academic license for $30 or so.

9. You are an ENGINEERING student and you're scared to build something yourself??
Consider this as a $2000 course, the experience is priceless. Add up the cost of parts to see what NCIX will be charging you to assemble it. If there is enough difference do it yourself. Once you select the parts, they are all standard and only fit one way.


Sep 20, 2012
Absolutely No reason why not to build it, Seriously.
Here are some things that i would change...

- The processor should be okay with your needs, so now get that out of the way.

- You can Either get the H100 for Aesthetics or get a superb aircooler that can perform possibly better or equally.( Good air coolers will be big so thats a Con )

- I would personally not go with the sabertooth other than aesthetics. It has many things that cheaper boards can do.Just get what you need.

- Ram is very overpriced... :/ to me. I'd just get a 1600mhz 8 or 16gb of corsair ram.

- 670 and 680 perform similar. 670 does about 95% of what a 680 does. Either get a 670 for $100 cheaper or get a 7970ghz editon from sapphire.( I doubt NCIX will let you change to a 7970 though :/)

- Unless you like big cases you can get it, but there are many other case manufactures that put out many things slick cases. ( Coolermaster,Corsair, and NZXT to name a few )

- You Do not need a 1200W Power supply. 750W Will do the Job. Corsair,XFX, and Seasonic are the best manufactures to buy PSU's from.
Everything else is Personal preference. Have a nice day :)


Sep 26, 2006
Build yourself, its impossible to screw up. Its like a giant lego.

You are building a $2000 machine and only spending $125 on SSD? WTF??? HDD will seriouslly bottleneck a machine like this, go ALL SSD. Simply add more as you need, cases can hold around 16 SSDs with the adpaters. Well, lets go:

1)Windows Home is just as good as the ultimate, get the most basic version

2)Go with stock air cooling, as this is your first build, lets make this simple!

3)Any $100 motherboard is just as good as a $300

3)That $500 videocard will be $100 next year, its insane how this things lose value. I would go with a $200, and add a second one later.

4)Bitfenix cases are in a very good hype right now. From budget to high-end, their cases are insanelly well cooled and well built. Check their website!

5)You can save a little on PSU and Im gonna even recomend another expensive one. Cooler Master Silent Pro. Get around 700/800W. This PSU is COMPLETLY SILENT

6)Change the internal HDD for a external HDD. You need it for backup. If you dont do this, you are not a serious builder.

7)I believe you can afford 2x 250GB SSDs in RAID 0. If possible, go for 2x 480GB


Thinking about this a bit more.
If I was interviewing an engineering graduate for a job, I might ask if they owned a computer.
If so, what kind, and what considerations went into it's purchase.
I would be looking for value vs usage considerations.
Initiative in building a PC without previous experience would be a plus.
leandrodafont has some goood points, but I have some comments on a few:

3) Until the graphics chip manufacturing process shifts from 28nm to 20nm, probably in 2014, the costs of producing graphics cards will not go down more than the usual 10-15% per year. A GTX680 will still be a very good card. Is it worth the price premium over a GTX670? Possibly not, but it is currently about the best single gpu card you can buy today.

5) CM silent pro(there are several models) is perhaps a tier 3 unit on this list. Not bad, but one can do better:
A Seasonic X-650 would be my pick for top tier 1 quality.
Seasonic will tell you not to be alarmed if the fan does not spin up under moderate load. It is that efficient and quiet:

7) I have tried raid-0 with two SSD's. Benchmarks looked good, but in actual usage, there was no difference in performance.
It is better to buy a single larger ssd. Larger units will have more nand chips which can be accessed in parallel. Sort of an internal raid-0. If the OP will be storing large files like video's, then a hard drive is warranted. And, yes... External backup should be planned for regardless.

I was researching my first build when I had my last interview, got the job, and I brought that up. We talked about it for a good 5 minutes. They asked me if I like working with computers so I think I had a great answer for them.


Nov 18, 2012
Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it. I am thinking of changing:
my processor to 3570K,
a cheaper ram 16GB,
SSD with more GB,
H100 to hyper 212+
PSU to a 750W or 850W.

If I am planning on SLI in future, Do you guys think a 750W would be enough?...Since I am using my hard earned money during last summer for this rig, I am kinda uncomfortable in building it by myself. But i might build the rig by myself If I find it's really worth money wise.

Good changes for the most part.
But, on planning for sli, here is my canned rant on that:
-----------------------------Start of rant----------------------------------------------------
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX650/ti or 7770 can give you good performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX660 or 7850 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX660 needs a 430w psu, even a GTX680 only needs a 550w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 620w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this:,2995.html

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
-------------------------------End of rant-----------------------------------------------------------


Nov 18, 2012
Thanks a lot geofelt. What motherboard would you recommend? I want a motherboard which could last for sometime and not die on me after a couple of months. As far as I know most gamers prefer Asus Sabertooth;one of the highest rated motherboards in most websites, it has a good lifetime ( good components). Do you know any other mother board which costs less than sabertooth and perform at the same level.

Motherboards will use the same Z77 chipset and will all perform about the same.
Some high priced motherboards have components that support extreme overclocking and quad sli. To my mind, a more conservative overclock will be less expensive, and increase longevity.
Most motherboards will have a 3 year warranty. Once you get past the first two months, they should last forever. Past that, they are going to be somewhat obsolete anyway.
Think about it. Why pay twice as much for a motherboard with a 5 year warranty, when you can buy a second replacement with another 3 year warranty for less?
I have used Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, ECS without issue. Really, any will do.
Any new motherboard will get it's share of early bios updates.
I would pick one that has been out for a while so that those early updates will have been already applied.

I happen to like smaller cases and M-ATX motherboards.
Here is a ASRock Z77 Pro4-M
They have a full ATX motherboard for the same price.


Nov 18, 2012

Now I am really confused over choosing the monitors. Do you know which one of these is good for gaming? If you know any other monitors better than these, I will really appreciate it.


Sep 20, 2012
Yes, It will fit fine.

Be careful though when installing it, the extreme 4 is not a standard ATX form factor. The board does not use some screws on the right side so you have to balance the weight when installing it because the board is 3cm thinner.