How To: Build yourself a mid-range Ivy Bridge gaming rig
| by Anand Tuliani
Ivy Bridge processors are trickling into the market. The top-end third generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors are already out. Also coming in gradually are the entry-level and mid-range models of Radeon HD 7000 and GeForce 600 series graphics processors. These, along with the availability of high-speed SSDs are compelling reasons to look forward to build high-end and mid-range gaming PCs. Although we'd advise you to wait for a couple of weeks for a few more models to release at various price points, you can still build a gaming or a high-performance rig with latest-generation components, if you’re in a pressing situation.
We’ve already shown how to build a high-end gaming rig, based on the Ivy Bridge platform. This time we’re going to build a mid-range gaming rig using relatively more affordable components. To give you an idea about the kind of performance you can expect, this PC will be marginally powerful than the previous generation Sandy Bridge platform, consume less power and won’t get outdated, too soon. Mid-range GPUs can comfortably handle nearly all the latest game titles at 1920x1080 and with medium to high settings.
Our suggested configuration encompasses all the hardware you need to build a complete PC. However, you can refer to the prices and models to upgrade your existing PC or build only the box.
CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K - 3.40 GHz - Rs. 16,500
The Core i5-3570K is the most powerful Core i5 part belonging to the Ivy Bridge family. It features the mighty DX 11-capable Intel HD 4000 graphics, which performs almost at par with entry-level graphics cards. This model will soon replace the existing Core i5-2500K and will come in at approximately the same price.
Motherboard - Asus P8H77-M - Intel H77 chispet – Rs. 8,050
While the Intel Z77 chipset-based motherboards are built for high-performance systems and overclocking, the H77 chipset is targeted at the mainstream audience. Priced under Rs. 10,000, this motherboard is perfect for building mid-range gaming rigs. Some of its salient features are HDMI video output, six SATA ports (two 6 G/s), 14 USB ports (four USB 3.0), four RAM slots and graphical UEFI BIOS.
Fins for the win
RAM - Corsair Vengeance - 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1600 – Rs. 1,800
4GB of RAM should be good enough for mid-range gaming PC. The maximum officially supported memory speed of the Ivy Bridge platform is 1600 MHz and Corsair Vengenace runs at this speed with CAS latency of 9.
SSD (optional) OCZ Vertex 3 - 60 GB
Would you spend Rs. 7,100 for a high-speed 60GB SSD, which guarantees blistering transfer rates, or pick a 2 TB hard drive (that's 33 times 60GB!)? It's a personal choice between speed and capacity.
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