We’ve seen two budget rigs already, one for around Rs. 35,000 for the cautious, budget oriented gamer and another for about Rs. 50,000, for those looking for a more potent rig. Today, we have a little something for those who don’t know what a budget is and simply want the best gaming rig money can buy. Now just because we have an unlimited budget doesn’t mean we just pick and choose the most expensive components out there, we’ve done this wisely and have splurged only where absolutely necessary. We’ve not included the price of the OS in the build as this is a list of just hardware components. Also, remember that these are all Mumbai prices which as you know, are always more than Delhi and Chennai. Prices and availability of components will vary depending on your location but for the most part, we’ve tried to stick with parts that are widely available in the market.
The Holy Trinity
Since Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E processors haven’t hit the streets yet and AMD made a big boo boo with the Bulldozer series, our real choice is Sandy Bridge, which is currently the best platform you can opt for. We’ve chosen the Core i7-2600K processor for its tremendous overclocking potential overall and excellent performance when it comes to gaming.
It’s a quad-core CPU with Hyperthreading giving you a total of 8 threads. It runs at 3.4GHz with the ability to Turbo up to 3.8GHz. The best part is that it has a TDP of just 95W and supports Intel Quick Sync, among others. We’ve also ditched the stock cooler and gone with the Antec Kuhler H2O 620 water cooling solution. We tested it on a 2600K itself and were very impressed with the performance, especially after overclocking.
For the motherboard, we’ve gone with the Asus P8Z68-V , a solid feature rich motherboard for the price. We test drove the P8Z68-V Pro which is a bit more expensive but to be honest, you’ll never use four SATA III ports anyways so might as well save a little. Asus packs in everything but the kitchen sink. You get UEFI BIOS, memory support up to 2200MHz, LucidLogix Virtu, Bluetooth v2.1, well laid out expansion slots and a ton of BIOS and Windows utilities. Also, the 12-phase power design for the CPU ensures more stability during overclocking.
Finally, we come to the RAM and we’ve chosen a tried and tested memory kit, the G.Skill RipjawsX (F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL) which is an 8GB memory kit (4GB x2) rated at a native speed of 1866MHz. It performed extremely well in our tests and more importantly ran cool, thanks to the heatspreaders. For about 4.5K, this makes it really good value as well. With, the main components out of the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff, the graphics cards.
We’ve stuck with the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II, only added another one for uncompromised gaming. The reason we chose the GTX 560 Ti over the AMD HD 6950 is more robust drivers with fewer bugs, better compatibility with games (especially PhysX titles like Arkham City) and better power management under idle and load. Instead of a single GTX 580 or GTX 590, two GTX 560 Ti’s in SLI will give you a lot better performance. SLI has evolved over the years and with better drivers and newer games being optimized for multi-GPU setups, it’s definitely more future proof and plus, not that we really care in this build, a lot cheaper as well.
The power supply plays a very crucial role in the functioning and longevity of any PC and when you’re building a high-end rig, no compromises are allowed. We’ve gone with the SeaSonic X-850 PSU which is an 80+ Gold certified power supply. It’s also one of the few high-end units to have a completely modular design which means even the 24-pin power cable is detachable. According to many reviews from users and various sites, it features very good efficiency (above 90% in most cases) low noise and ripple levels and can easily go beyond its rated power all the way to 1000W.
We’ve gone with an SSD and hard drive combo for quicker loading times in games and Windows in general. OCZ’s Vertex Plus 60GB is more than enough for a boot drive and a Seagate 2TB makes a nice starter hard drive for dumping games and movies. We’ve chosen the Corsair 600T chassis for its tank-like sturdy construction and great features. Although it’s a mid-tower case, it can comfortably accommodate three graphics cards and there’s plenty of room for cable management. Other features include powder coated interiors, two 200mm white LED fans which can be controlled with a knob, USB 3.0 front port, and bottom mounted PSU and plenty of hard drive bays.
Amazing value for money
Dell does not disappoint when it comes to monitors and their new addition delivers great bang for buck. The U2312HM is a Full HD monitor sporting an IPS panel and LED backlighting. It also features tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments along with DVI, VGA and DisplayPort connectivity and a 4-port USB hub. For the keyboard and mouse, we went with Microsoft’s SideWinder X4 for its compact design and good features like backlit keys and macro keys. The Logitech G500 gaming mouse offers great features for the price. The classic claw-grip makes it very comfortable to use and comes with high-end features like 5700dpi laser, on-board memory for storing profiles, adjustable weights, dual-more scroll wheel and 10-programmable buttons.
The Xonar STX
A great speaker system goes a long way in immersing you in a game. While onboard soundcards on motherboards have gotten better with time, it’s still no match for a dedicated sound card. We are talking about the Asus Xonar Essence STX which can be found for as low as Rs. 6,500, which is just immense value. It packs in an onboard headphone amp that is capable of powering headphones up to 600Ohms of impedance with a low distortion rate. It also features Burr-Brown DAC and swappable OPAMP sockets to fine tune the output to your liking. We also recommended the Corsair SP2200 for the speakers and Razer Carcharias gaming headset.
Let’s recap and take a look at our final build:
The final build
What can you play on this rig?
Well, pretty much anything your heart desires. You can take some of the most taxing titles like Battlefield 3 and R.A.G.E and expect to get away with butter smooth frame rates with all the eye candy maxed out. This rig is also fairly future proof as even two years down the line, should you feel the CPU is slowing you down, simply overclock it without hesitation to get a boost in frame rates. The water cooler should easily handle the increase in temperatures and if you want, you can add another fan for a push-pull configuration. Our configuration just so happens to top out around the same price as the Asus G74SX gaming notebook, which we feel currently offers the best bang for buck. So in case you were still undecided on what to do with 1.25 lakhs, here’s another great way to blow it.
Published Date: Nov 08, 2011 09:31 am | Updated Date: Nov 08, 2011 09:31 am