Yet another $1,500 Gaming build to read & review


Nov 13, 2012
Approximate Purchase Date: This week, but I may be able to hold off until Black Friday & Cyber Monday if there would be significant savings

Budget Range: $1,500.00 - $2,000.00 (with monitor)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing & MS Office (some work from home)

Are you buying a monitor: See below, it is an option

Parts to Upgrade: all new components except case (see additional comments), Monitor (see comments under monitor resolution), speakers, keyboard and mouse

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, WIN 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg is preferred, but open to anyone with solid customer service reputation

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Parts Preferences: Intel/Nvidia

Overclocking: At this time No, but I may in the future... or i may play some after the build. I would like to learn.

SLI or Crossfire: Not based on this build, but I am open to it if you want to suggest a SLI build

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (Samsung SyncMaster S24A350H): Should I get a new monitor with a faster refresh rate?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Upgrading because my video card is dying (EVGA 280). Found a thread on EVGA’s site which details the issue here , plus it is a 4 year old build

Additional Comments: I plan to reuse my current case, CM COSMOS 1000. I also have three WD 500GB drives I can set up in RAID.

Here is my preliminary build on

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Video: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: 2x Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Monitor: ??? I have a Samsung SyncMaster S24A350H. Should I get a new monitor? My concern is with the refresh rate of the monitor vs. the ability of the video card. This was ample monitor for my EVGA 280.

Side notes/questions:
- Definitely want a UEFI MoBo
- Is it of value to buy a small (60 GB) mSATA drive if I already have the Samsung SSD?
- Would it be better to buy a 240GB mSATA SDD instead of the 256 GB Samsung SSD?
- Is the low voltage RAM worth getting or would I be better off with a 1.5 volt kit like G.SKILL Sniper
- Will the PSU cables be long enough to reach from the bottom of the case to the MoBo?
- If I do go SLI later, will the PSU be overkill?
- Would it be worth the extra $60 to get the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 3 board MoBo instead for the two PCI-E x16 slots if/when I go SLI?

Thank you for your time and comments.

This GTX 670 is faster and cheaper. Your monitor is plenty good enough AFAIK and I wouldn't replace it unless it's starting to have problems such as stuck pixels or some other faults. I don't see good reason to get a mSATA SSD, especially when you're getting a good SSD such as a Samsung 840 already.

Also, unless you plan on doing SLI with that 670 and a second 670, don't get such an overkill PSU.
One of these PSUs would be better. The Antec is a little less efficient and such, but it's a little cheaper and its modular whereas the XFX, although a slightly better PSU, is not modular.

For SLI, your PSU is not overkill.



1. No

2. No - mSATA is kind of pointless. Just get a regular 256GB SSD.

3. Definitely avoid anything but 1.5V RAM - it's pointless to get low voltage RAM. Make sure it has low profile heat sinks.

4. Hard to say - I've run into that issue before. Depends on what PSU you're using.

5. Also hard to say as the wattage varies from system to system. The trend among GPUs now is lower wattage requirements and as the technology gets better the power requirements will be far less than the previous generation but multiple video cards will always eat power.

6. Not all case will support e-ATX or XL-ATX boards like the Gigabyte Sniper so that all depends on what case you're using as to what kind of motherboard it will use.