What's in the new Game Guys gaming PC?

11:50 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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Some of the parts used in the new Game Guys gaming PC.

They say that computers are obsolete by the time they leave the store.  If that's truly the case, then the PC we the Game Guys have been using for their computer game reviews was well past its prime.

Since 2008, our computer game reviews were performed on a home-built Intel Core2Duo machine running 4GB RAM equipped with a 1GB EVGA Nvidia 220 GT graphics card.  Safe to say it wasn't exactly state of the art - even for 2008.

In getting with the times, we've built ourselves a new gaming PC.  In case you want to spend a day or two and build a similar one for yourself, we've set out the main assortment of parts used in the gallery above and the explanation of those parts below.

The rig:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.4GHz - Sure we could have gone with Intel's new Haswell i7 CPU, but we really liked the motherboard we selected.  The Haswell has a 1150 socket whereas our selected mobo uses a 1155, ergo an 1155 CPU was necessary. ($340 at Fry's Electronics)
  • Primary Hard Drive: SanDisk ReadyCache 32GB SSD - The primary is simply for the OS and its related core files, hence the small size. ($44 at Best Buy)
  • Secondary Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 7200RPM - After having good luck with Hitachi DDDs in the past, we're using one again.  This is the drive on which the games and other non-system-critical files and programs are stored. ($70 at Fry's Electronics)
  • Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2x4GB) SDRAM 1600 DDR3 - Purchased mainly because it was on sale at the time, it turns out that reviews of this lesser-known brand of memory are outstanding. ($49 at NewEgg.com)
  • GPU: ASUS Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 - We could have gone bigger, but we'd be paying for a lot of features we might never use.  The GTX 650 provides plenty of graphical power (2GB DDR5 RAM) and doesn't need its own power source.  ($130 @ Fry's Electronics)
  • Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST - This is your modern, no-frills DVD-RW drive that came at a great price due to its being an OEM part. ($26 at Fry's Electronics)
  • Card Reader: Power Up Internal Media Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 - It reads a number of different kinds of flash cards (ie: SD, Memory Stick, etc.) and adds an extra USB 2.0 port onto the front of the rig. ($7 at TigerDirect.com)
  • Sound Card: ASUS DGX 5.1* - While our chosen motherboard has its own on-board audio, we decided to go with a quality dedicated card to ensure a great audiophile-ish gaming experience. ($50 at NewEgg.com)
  • PSU: Dynex 520-watt ATX - Found on Amazon while looking at better-known brand names, this Dynex power supply had great reviews and a price that was hard to pass up. ($35 on Amazon.com)
  • WiFi: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 300MBPS - Costing the same as some less-powerful internal WiFi adapters, this Rosewill seemed like a great choice. ($20 at NewEgg.com)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD45 Gaming - Designed with gamers in mind, this mid-to-high end motherboard features a number of PCI-E ports, USB 3.0 and SATA 6 hookups.  It also has a cool dragon design to it.  ($120 at Fry's Electronics)
  • Case: Enermax Ostrog Black with White Trim - It has plenty of room inside to hold the motherboard, its components, four 5.25" drives and a few smaller ones.  It can also accommodate as many as seven fans, has holes with rubber grommets for liquid cooling, puts the PSU on the bottom, and has a dust filter to keep the gunk out.  The fact that it has a transparent window on the side so you can see the cool stuff inside is a plus.  ($45 at Fry's Electronics)
  • Case Fans: BGears B-Ice 140mm Fan (x1) and Kingwin 120mm Fans (x2) - In addition to the 120mm fan that comes with the case, these three additional fans are quiet, inexpensive, and come equipped with colored LEDs that make the case look quite nifty through case's window.  They also keep it literally cool.  The computer tends to run between 40-48 degrees Celsius with excellent airflow. ($14 and $7 each, respectively, at Fry's Electronics)
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - Why not Windows 8?  Because we actually want to use this computer for gaming, that's why!  In fact, we want it to be usable period and running Windows 8 is simply a pain in the butt.  ($199 at Microsoft)

The Peripherals:

  • Headset: Skullcandy PLYR 1* - A comfortable and stylish wireless gaming headset, the PLYR 1 provides 5.1 surround sound that can really immerse you in your game.  ($180 at NewEgg.com)
  • Speakers: Logitech Z313 2.1 w/ Subwoofer* - While not surround, this speaker and subwoofer set gives great-quality audio at a fair price. ($50 at Best Buy)
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and Razer DeathAdder 2013 Essential Ergonomic Gaming Mouse - Some of the best options money can buy in these regards.  The keyboard is solidly made, doesn't move easily while in use, and has programmable macros. The mouse is comfortable, has good weight, and simply looks cook.  ($140 and $70, respectively, at Amazon.com)
  • Monitor:  Hanns-G HW-191DPB 19" widescreen monitor* - Though now discontinued, this gaming-oriented 1440x900 resolution monitor from Hannspree offers great value with acceptable specs.  ($90 from TigerDirect)

The Cost: $1688 including OS and all peripherals.*

*Some parts (such as the monitor and speakers) were salvaged from the previous computer, which would lower the cost should they be subtracted from the gross total.

So, what do you think?


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