Blueprints: The Maximum PC Recommended Builds - June 2012

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stige

this is a great article.

i like the approach of no compromises (i.e. - no 'budget' builds).

i would also like seeing HTPC and Home Server PC builds discussed.

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laxzilla123

I agree with johnny. I'm looking to build a machine and clarification would be great.

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JohnnyCNote

There are at least SIX Asus P8Z77-V, including the LX, LK, LE, LE Plus, LGA, etc. I've been looking into the various components and it would be really helpful if you could include a more specific identification in such situations.

Thanks . . .

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nedwards

Sorry, that's the full name. It's just the P8Z77-V with no extra monikers. Confusing. 

Here's the NewEgg link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131820

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RocketSciGuy

Blueprints is a killer idea! Please do add a budget category. That would be great for building cheap PCs for the folks so they can surf the web and forward me endless junk emails. Also, PLEASE add an HTPC and a Home Server build. I need to build both soon. And, sorting through thousands of biased blog postings on those home theater oriented sites just ain't cutting it.
Maximum PC IS Kick Ass!!

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polecat99

I have two suggestions:

1) please include the cost of each individual item in the parts list.

2) please create an entry-level/budget category in the $500-$700 price range.

thanks

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aarcane

when did viewsonic start selling ASUS graphics?

Asus PA238Q

$300, www.viewsonic.com

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kwalk629

Get the case in Black. The case is very nice and easy to work with!

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captainjack

Could someone recommend to me another case for the baseline model? I'm not a big fan of the white as my rig will be in a dorm with 5 other guys and i can see it getting dirty pretty quick.

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captainjack

I'm a nub disregard that previous statement

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alex_dh9

Lol I guess you found out it comes in black ;)

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btdog

First off, I love the addition to the magazine (you should post component prices). But should you include a budget build?

Absolutely, you should have a budget build as part of the line up. When money is no object, building a great rig is easy. When money becomes an object...? That's where the challenge lies.

I suggest you set a price limit that allows the build to contain one mid-range (mid-to-high range) component. I'm not certain about the exact price point, but I'd guess...$650 - AND you have to pay for an OS (none of this, "I'll use Linux or Win 8 RC" garbage).

You can keep the three current builds and add a budget build into the fray; I've always envisioned 3 builds:
1. Budget Build - Just enough to get 1 mid (mid-to-high) range component.

2. Intermediate Build - Price point about $1100ish, requiring at least 2 (but no more than 3) mid-to-high (high) range components (e.g., SSD, i7 3820, or GTX 670)

3. Maximum Build - Requires 5+ high (extreme) range components. Spend like you just won the lottery.

Thanks for letting me share.

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myh1tlist101

I have one problem WHERE IS THE DEDICATED SOUND CARD!!! Yes I sound a bit harsh but when they can be had for so cheaply and improve audio performance a crap ton I don't see why not. Integrated sound isn't very maximum.

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BakedPie

I think this is a great article! The monthly updates will be great.

I would like to see some other builds also. Especially considering how if it is done every month it could start to get repetitive.

This might be a good place to put recommended upgrades to existing computers based on what was just released to the market.

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knipfty

Hi MaxPC,

Here's a thought. I like what you did and hope you continue it. I do think you need to add one more category, that of a rotating build. Something different each month. For example,
- A sub $500 build
- A HTPC build
- A Folding@Home Build
- A fanless or quiet PC
- A low power PC
- A picture frame PC mounted on a wall
- etc

The rotation will keep it fresh and interesting, while the three primary builds are kept updated. You can also hold polls several months in advance to see what your readers are interested in.

Keep up the good work you do

Knipfty

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nedwards

This is the goal behind the monthly Build It section in the mag, but suggestions are always welcome.

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zero_ken13

This is a very nice idea :) +1

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h e x e n

Cool concept, and article. Been thinking of ditching my CFX setup for a single GPU build.

I'd also like to see one step beyond and below what you currently have. Sacrifice the peripheral section :D

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h e x e n

Cool concept, and article. Been thinking of ditching my CFX setup for a single GPU build.

I'd also like to see one step beyond and below what you currently have. Sacrifice the peripheral section :D

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riopato

Everyone complaining about how expensive these recommendations are are missing the point that these pcs are something that are pretty much a bang-for-your-buck system builds with no compromise! Take note, AMD is a compromise hence no AMD! If you people are too cheap to build these systems then pick the parts that Max PC doesn't recommend. If you are the group who can't afford these parts then why are you bothering to read this article? The title doesn't say "Budget PCs that Max PC recommends"

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Pmbster

You said "bang-for-your-buck" system builds. I do not think that means what you think it does, especially when you add "with no compromise!"

What you are talking about here would be more like bucks-for-your-bang system builds.

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Up Early

I'd like to see a category added for compact, quiet email, websurfing machines. Something you wouldn't use as your gaming machine but for "general use"; maybe something the wife and kids would be using. You wouldn't necessarily have to update this one every month.

A category for HTPC would be fantastic. I believe it's a rapidly changing arena, so update as required. This machine should offer quality sound reproduction and Blue Ray playback. It would be small enough and quiet enough to sit up in front of the home theatre room with the A/V receiver.

An occasional blueprint for the digital photographer would be interesting as well. Or, how about a car-puter? On the road music serving, web surf and navigation.

I quess what I am trying to say is that it's not all about gaming!

Thanks for doing a great job on these build recommendations. I've used your suggestions over the years (with an occasional substitution here and there) and I've built well over 20 machines and have never had a single issue. (Very hard knock on wood!)

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riopato

Yes that's what a site titled "Maximum PC" was meant to write articles about.
I do recall whenever this site posts news about Apple devices, most comments were complaints on "what the heck is this doing on maxpc!"

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Toovok

I would love to see one of the categories be a dedicated gaming rig. I’m sure there is enough interest out there for a seeing a PC build that maximizes gaming performance.
I do love the new builds at the end of the issue now. I turn there first now to see what you changed!

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TheCzar

I'm a woman, a student, and a novice builder. The article summary on the home page left me very enthusiastic: I thought, boy, this is a great idea, and it would be even cooler if they included an HTPC build. I can have more confidence with my own builds if they test component compatibility for me... But then the real article stunned me. No PCs under $1,000? No AMD? It smacks of a sort of elitism that leaves me feeling deflated.

What it says to me is that you really don't have respect for the viewpoint that, while AMD might not always perform as best as Intel CPUs, that there is such a thing as wanting more bang for your buck. Especially if you have not-so-many bucks!

I get this feeling that you don't really want to speak to students, or those living in developing nations. Or to those who have taken cut hours, and/or paycuts too. Please take a look out the window every once in a while, and recognize that it's a world where all the investors are taking valium by the cupful over the very real prospect that the entire economy of Europe could collapse. The "Intel only" attitude was snobbish in the roaring 90's, and now it's just plain offensive.

I'm sure much of your readership is in the tech industry and somewhat insulated from the economic pain the rest of us feel, but if you want "maximum readership" you're going to have to consider a broader audience. You've got the playboy hobby enthusiasts covered, now how about something for the rest of us?

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myh1tlist101

Truth be told Intel parts have AMD beat even in the bang-for-buck category. There really isn't a reason to even consider AMD for anything but an APU or decent integrated graphics performance (I would take that over that turd labeles Intel graphics 3000). I do admit though that the GTX 590 wasn't the best idea as two 7970 murder the thing in benchmarks.

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fygquas

Yeah, a Core i3-2100 beats having dual-core or triple-core AMD any day. Even better, it consumes less power!

Maybe the quad-core AMDs offer more performance for a little more cash, arguably giving more bang for your buck, but it's much more power hungry and that's not very economical.

Moreover, with the upcoming Core i3-3220 being slightly faster than the i3-2100 while consuming less power, it is going to be much harder for AMD to not appear offensive, regardless whether you're rich or poor.

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fygquas

Yeah, a Core i3-2100 beats having dual-core or triple-core AMD any day. Even better, it consumes less power!

Maybe the quad-core AMDs offer more performance for a little more cash, arguably giving more bang for your buck, but it's much more power hungry
and that's not very economical.

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riopato

This site and magazine is for enthusiasts that want articles such as this. Considering the amount of tech written about these builds, the point of this article is to show what's currently availble performance wise and not for what it would costs. The cost is only secondary considering and that AMD isn't even mentioned is telling on what the current trend is on performance.
This site is titled Maximum PC! If you want to find articles on bargin basment pcs then go to pc magazine, pc world or keep an eye out on their budget pc articles. You will find AMD parts on that section.

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kixofmyg0t

AMD still has performance. More so on the GPU front. After reading this article I went looking at newegg for prices and found that the more powerful Radeon 7850 is in fact cheaper than the Geforce 560 Ti 448 they listed here.

So even though this is "MaximumPC" they went with a card that not only costs more....but is slower...doesn't sound very "Maximum" to me.

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azuza001

I see what you did with the baseline and I love the case you went with but I have to agree it's a little steep on the price. I suppose it all depends on the point of view your taking, I would consider that a midrange gaming machine and not a starting point.

The processor/ram/motherboard are fine (though I'd probably have gone with an asrock Z77 board thats a bit cheaper) and it's a beautiful case again. But 3 TB and a solid state drive? You could go with a cheaper 120 gig Solid State that still gets great performance like a Mushkin that falls under the same category as onboard audio does (it's simply good enough for the majority of people out there) to save a few more bills.

The graphics card has to go, the Radeon 7850 that was mentioned earlier is a much better choice if your going to spend the cash.

All in all again they are lovely builds but you can probably knock ~150$ off that baseline build and still have a machine that performs at the same level as that one does.

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someuid

Lots of folks asking for a $500 PC. On your podcast, you said you wouldn't recommend AMD cpus because the Intel ones are where the performance is and this isn't Minimum PC.

So I suggest you guys do an AMD $500 build and call it the Inadequate PC just for fun.

No, I'm not an Intel Fanboi. I run AMD at home, both cpu and gpu. But I also know how to laugh at myself and not get so worked up over stuff.

Come on - give us an AMD build, even if you make it the super budget build. If Gordon doesn't want anything with it, let Nathan do it. Call it the Non-Gordon AMD Build. Anything. Just give us a $500 build!

Besides, one can take MaximumPC to mean the most bang for the buck, not just the most bang (for unlimited buck).

Here's another idea if Gordon is still not liking the idea: do an Integrated Graphics Build. You can do it for $500, the AMD fanbois will be happy cause we'll finally get to kick Intel in the nads, and you can use it to show us how these new APUs are progressing in power as each generation is released. Yeah, we know a discrete card will always be king, but we don't always need a discrete card, do we - surely not for Netflix or the kitchen computer for browsing the web while the noodles are boiling.

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zero_ken13

Dear MPC Staff,

I'm an avid fan of yours from the Philippines, I always read your online articles and sometimes I brawl with other people here in our local magazine store just to get a copy of your mag :) ( I SWEAR your magazines here are considered rare, promise!), I hope you can include cheapo yet great gaming builds in your new section ranging from $500-$700. I'm still a student so I can't afford rigs that reach the $1000 mark. I love PC Gaming but sadly I don't have the money to purchase these cool gaming rigs you included in this post, I wish somehow you can look into my request. God Bless you all and more power!

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NavarWynn

I'd like to see a $500 rig included. Sure, it'll be a stretch, and involve some compromises (and critical thinking), but I'm sure you guys can do it!

if a Pi goes for $35, imagine what you guys can do w/ $500... you could go all 'special forces' silent running one month, or ghetto fab cardboard box the next month...(complete w/ scotch taped on surplus fans!) I'd even go so far as to theme it out every month... of course you will have to compromise on things like $130 *keyboards*... ...or ~$100 OSes (like, how much better gear can your rig run w/ an open source OS?)

I'm not just talking about saving benjis for the scrimpers and cheapasses (like me.. ;-) ), I'm talking about using creativity to solve problems, and address the very real limitations system builders encounter (when they don't have an extra $100 for a heatsink)... If you've ever worked IT for a company, you know what I'm talking about, where *you* are expected to engineer *something* that'll keep the server room cool because the cheapskates were to f***ing cheap to pay an AC guy to fix the unit - so your budget is $50... w/ four racks to keep cool... Having the experience of ducting airflow (w/ cardboard ;-)) could be helpful...

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fygquas

How come none of these systems have any audio cards? Why buy expensive speakers like Corsair if you're not going to have a proper audio card?

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Rift2

I totally recommend getting the New Creative Recon soundblaster card it works under WIndows 64 I had a Xonar DX and Xonar DG bother sounded kinda sucky. I was going to go onboard but got too much snap crackle in pop with onboard.

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fygquas

Preferring Recon3D over Xonar DX? That's rare.

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NavarWynn

Short answer? The built in audio is good 'nuff for most people, and supports the games most people play. Even though a dedicated card will give you a 'better' experience, it's not really noticeable except to the audiophiles out there...
...more important? the speakers...

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fygquas

If it's just about being "good enough for most people", then you're right (probably). But MaximumPC tends to forget the audio card these days, just look at the 2011 Dream Machine!

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ddz49

MaxPC is a business, and that comes before anything else. Although they do want to write about the best of the best, catering to the majority of the readers is a much smarter business decision. I mean, the cheapest one had some replies going nuts about how it wasn't cheap enough.

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fygquas

No excuses, a magazine called MAXIMUM PC and offering less than maximum?

Even on their best of the best that they DO write about (Dream Machine) they tend to skim on sound cards. I've also noticed that they opted to use Corsair: 2.1 speakers. These are huge differences to the older Dream Machines. The 2006 Dream Machine had 5.1 or 7.1 speakers AND sound card too!

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vrmlbasic

Monthly updates sound pretty cool. I hope that this will be a monthly feature that runs alongside the "Build it" features that MPC occasionally runs, as I also enjoy the in-depth benchmarking and step-by-step construction process details that are included in that feature.

Though I will admit that monthly updates could backfire: each month we'll see how much better the new builds are compared to the previous ones, and that could be brutal. ;)

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Biceps

I like that you guys are now doing several price points but think it is unrealistic (and, yes, sorry, but also insensitive) to assume that your readers can all afford a machinethat goes for over $1000. If this wasn't the same crew that build a PC inside a cardboard box to save cash, I wouldn't give you a hard time about it... but you did, so I am.

If a Raspberry Pi can deliver 1080p for $35, you guys should be able to put your heads together and do it (and gaming) for a few benjamins. While I appreciate you wanting to stay compromise-free and true to the 'maximum' side of things, can you seriously think of a better crew to give the gift of Maximum Gaming to your less-flush readers?

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captainjack

Just because they decided to start their lowest blueprint at around $1000 doesn't mean they're assuming that everyone can afford that; and they give a good reason for this starting point. Unlike a cardboard box, these computers have a upgrade path which can be more of a problem for rigs under $1000. I can see doing a $750 rig but below that doesn't really make sense. Let me pad this by saying that I definitely fall under the "less-flush" category so I understand where you're coming from.

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Peanut Fox

I'd have made several different choices on many of these, but the one that sticks out the most is that quad core x79 3820 part. Makes no sense to waste money on that thing.

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ddz49

MaxPC loves upgradability. This Ivy Bridge quad core CAN be overclocked quite well even though it's designated as a non-K/X part, unlike the previous "locked" versions of Sandy Bridge. Long term, you don't want to get another motherboard when quad-channel memory is favored over dual-channel, so you're really saving money as the Deluxe rig will be enough to satisfy most of the readers out there until that happens.

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Danthrax66

Why do you continue to recommend shitty headsets? You get way better results from headphones than any headset will give you.

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Stormfuror

I'm no audiophile but I have these headphones and they are great.

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derTorbs

Why would you get mere headphones with a gaming rig..... and since when is a good rated headset for an attractive price "shitty?"

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/%5Bprimary-term%5D/corsair_vengeance_1500_usb_gaming_headset_review

http://metku.net/index.html?path=reviews/corsair-vengeance-1500/index_eng5

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kixofmyg0t

Curious as to why the Geforce 560 Ti is in the baseline system when the Radeon 7850 is more powerful(especially at higher resolutions)and cheaper.....

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