Blueprints: The Maximum PC Recommended Builds (September 2012)

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jimmthang

Testing

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aferrara50

Would be nice to have another level over ultra since the one specced out doesn't quite begin to hit true high end. Pretty solid choices overall, the ultra just needs much better cooling. Would be awesome if maxpc started dabbling in high end cooling since even a rig specced to the max that doesn't have at least a custom waterloop is very limited in performance.

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BRIAN STALOCH

I'd like to see the deluxe go ivy :)

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BRIAN STALOCH

but I should also add I'm not exactly an expert on everything so what every you guys see is best, I'm looking to build a sweet gaming machine pretty soon and haven't decided on your ivy build you guys just did or this deluxe build, I already got a Samsung SSD though so I'm all good on the storage.. PS you guys do a good job love the mags

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Strangelove_424

That Cosmos is just begging for a sound card. I know mobo audio is getting better and better, but my sound card still gives me more smiles per dollar than any other component in my PC. It's instant PCI bliss, and should be considered on any build.

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captainjack

I agree with this. As a newbie to sound cards I would love to see MPC shed a little more light on them and blueprints seems like the perfect gateway to do it

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Blues22475

This is maximum pc recommended builds, not necessarily most budget conscious builds. I got to admit, I am sad to see no AMD processor listed here, but Intel (performance wise) will blow away AMD processors. I've been with AMD ever since my first custom machine (and will probably stick with them until I stop being cheap with processor prices).

Besides this, no one being held at gun-point to build these particular builds. Know your needs and build based off of that.

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SininStyle

for the same money as AMD you get better performance from an Intel. Bang for buck is better for intel right now when it use to be AMD.

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tekknyne

Guys guys guys, AMD just isn't relevant any more! Enough with the butt-hurtness, just move on! Yeesh!

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kixofmyg0t

Guys guys guys, AMD just isn't relevant when you're building a $14,000 PC!

FTFY

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Refuge88

Or when your building your mother a $250 rig for her simple internet kitty movies that will be cheap and easy to upgrade for quite some time to come.

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tekknyne

C'mon dude you totally just ruined my trolling moment :). I guess I cant hate too much, bc My NAS box has an AMD e-350 and the whole thing minus disk drives was only $170. CPU+Asus board was $110 and it only uses 19 watts of power idling. It's a nice chip IMO.

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kixofmyg0t

Do my eyes devices me? Is that really a Radeon 7850 in the baseline!?!

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that MaximumPC recommended the slower more expensive 560 Ti 448 over the 7850?!?

A regular 7970 can hold up against a 670 generally, the Ghz edition matches the 680. We don't have the 7990 so nothing can touch the 690.....yet.

I am truly amazed that a AMD product made it into these builds. But I'm gonna assume it was a typo.

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captainjack

nah actually a lot of people commented on last months blueprint posts pointing out that the Radeon 7850 was a better choice. So in reality MPC has been listening to a lot of reader feedback.

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razorpetti37

Regardless of what you recommend, people are going to complain that it isn't their ideal system.

For those of us that recognize that these are good recommendations based on the newest components out there and are based on the author's opinion, I would like to thank MPC for providing these types of build configurations. They are especially appreciated by those, like myself, who aren't regularly building new machines and like to keep informed of what is out there. Obviously, if you can't afford the specific parts that are called out, you can replace certain components, but at least you have a decent layout to start from.

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MrGeek

USB Headsets? Come on! I have an X-FI Titanium HD! Get me a headset that I can plug in to it! Or does that come with an adapter?

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onewithazureskies

In my opinion, SNB-E is an unnecessary expense for the deluxe machine. I say stick with Ivy Bridge. Also, I have a personal recommendation on the monitor front:

I was recently shopping for a budget monitor, but I didn't want to compromise on quality. I picked up a nice 22" Asus IPS monitor and combined it with a decent vesa stand.

The ASUS VS229H-P is a sweet IPS monitor, with a less desirable stand than your midrange suggestion. I snagged it for $155 shipped.

I combined it with the ERGOTRON 33-310-060 Neo-Flex LCD Stand, which is sturdy and has all of the important adjustments. I snagged it for $45 shipped.

Total outlay: $200 for a somewhat smaller monitor with a stand comparable to your midrange suggestion. At my purchase time, this was a full $100 cheaper than the listed midrange monitor. Currently this combo runs $220 on newegg, which is really close to the current AR price on your midrange suggestion, so maybe my solution makes a little less sense on the current market.

I guess my point is that a lot of decent panels are held back by crummy oem stands. Maybe you could review some vesa stands and mounts?

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limitbreaker

Theres nothing wrong with amd unless you're building a pc for nothing but gaming, for a build with a limited budget i would recommend a fx.8120, its cheap and will probably give you your monitors max refresh rate while beating intel at the same price point on threaded apps usually. i have no delusions of amd being better than intel in any way but prices and even that is somewhat questionable these days, despite that the very mild 8120 has a great value as an overall cpu and as far as gaming goes its more than enough unless youre planning to build an sli/crossfire rig which is unlikely if youre going for a budget cpu to begin with.

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Wolfgang

I've always been an AMD user and have been building AMD based PCs since 2005. But truth is, Intel surpasses AMD in raw performance, so my next build is Intel based. Until AMD comes up with new arquitecture that competes head to head with Intel, for raw power and a respectable price, I am going Intel. Here's my build:

CASE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
PSU: OCZ ZX Series 1000W
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz
MOBO: ASUS Maximus V FORMULA/THUNDERFX LGA 1155
VIDEO: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW+ 4GB
RAM: G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 2400 (PC3 19200)
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 2.5" 120GB
HDD: 2 X Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM
MEDIA: LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner & SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner
WATER COOLING: CORSAIR H100
SPEAKERS: Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500
PERIPHERALS:
Azio Corp Levetron Mech4 Gaming Keyboard
Corsair Vengeance 1500 USB Gaming Headset
Cyborg R.A.T.7 Infection USB Wired Laser Mouse

For those criticizing MPC for not going AMD; the site/magazine is called MAXIMUM PC, as in...well, MAXIMUM, not Minimum PC, not Average PC, not Underperforming PC, etc. And still they're trying to give their readers the MAXIMUM performance on a budget with proven and reliable hardware. If and when AMD comes out with a competitive product, I'm sure they will include in their builds, write about it, hell they might even do a Dream Machine based on it. I've been reading MPC since 2005 too, and back then AMD was on top, so it's not MPC or anyone else but AMD's fault for not staying there...For the time being, stop whining and go check the "Best of the Best" for AMD parts listed there.

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kixofmyg0t

2005!? Noob....

Jk

I understand where you're coming from though. Piledriver looks promising though.

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Refuge88

So did Bulldozer, but we all saw how well that went.

Unfourtuantely there is a difference between paper and the real physical world...

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kixofmyg0t

No sh#t guy. What I meant by looks promising is the Trinity benchmarks are holding up well against Intel. So when we see AM3+ CPU's hopefully they will have at least the lead they have now.

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illusionslayer

MaxPC, you guys should really do an "all else equal, or at least as close as we can get it" comparison current AMD and Intel cpus. A massive 12cpu comparison ranging in benchmarks from 7zip times to Encodes to crazy resolution gaming benchmarks (to test for bottlenecks)

I'm really tired of everyone complaining about you choosing Intel over AMD for performance when it is almost always the better choice.

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kixofmyg0t

You don't want to do that. Their are a few benchmarks where AMD is faster. We can't have that showing on MaximumPC.

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limitbreaker

I like amd very much but at these price points it wouldn't make too much sense to trow in ann amd build, if you're spending 250$ on a CPU then why push for a slower 8150? if it was a sub 1000$ build then I would suggest a 8120fx coupled with a sub 100$ motherboard.

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limitbreaker

Double post..

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captainjack

Sigh it seems like only 3 weeks ago that I finished my baseline computer from the August edition (oh wait it was). The baseline is the first computer I've ever built! I couldn't afford the SSD as I had to buy a monitor as well. Also sad that the case has already been updated. The define R4 looks NICE. Can't wait till I can afford my next upgrade. Thanks MPC

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wljk

I, like many, are tired of the pro-intel articles. Yes Intel is more mainstream, common and what MORE EXPENSIVE.

I have built AMD systems that are able to run games and other software well after they should have been junked. I just retired a AMD64 single core system that was STILL able to play games at decent frame rates.

My new gaming / video editing rig, is a FX-4100 OC'd to 4.5 Ghz ON AIR. This thing can run the infamous Crysis on all setting MAXED with a ATI 6850.

You DON'T need to waste the money on expensive builds to play games / edit. You just need to know what you need and do research.

AMD FX-4100 3.63Ghz OC'd to 4.5Ghz
MSI 890GXM-G65
Gigabyte 6850 OC
8 GB ram
128 Hyper-x ssd
1 TB, 320 GB, and 250 GB HDDS

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tekknyne

I thought my GTX 460 was running mass effect 3 at playable frame rates until I put another one in there which is comparable to a gtx 580 and wow what a difference it made. zero stutters, zero frame rate drop.

Point is, nearly any mainstream processor from the past two years will handle video gaming since obviously most of the experience depends on your video card. Hardly a profound observation.

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nedwards

It's great that your computer can max out a five-year-old game, and starting next month we'll include a budget option like yours in Blueprints. We also have a budget build coming up in the October issue. But if that's all we focused on we'd have to rename the magazine.

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wljk

Then you should rename it "Intel Exclusive" because that is ALL I keep seeing. That is why I cancelled my subscription after 6 years.

Yes I can max out a 5 year old game, but sites and others STILL use it for benchmark comparisons. My retired system that SHOULD NOT HAVE been able to run it maxed could and it was 10 years old and AMD based as well.

Fastest and newest is not always the best.

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CaptainFabulous

Well, this is MaximumPC, not OkPerformerPC.

Intel CPUs are chosen because they simply blow the doors off the AMD chips. This chart from Tom's Hardware tells you all you need to know.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html

Since all the chips in this roundup are from tier 1, which AMD chip would you suggest as an alternative? Hint: the answer is "none" as there aren't any.

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wljk

True, I don't really have anything against Intel. But, a i7 - 3930k is over $500 I built 3/4 of my system for that, and have had no problems with it running games on highest settings, even while recording a video with fraps, or, rendering a video while playing.

As for the "MaximumPC" comments, I was supporting Mikey109105's comment. I have seen a trend before I quit getting the mag, and more now on the site that "builds" are becoming more and more Intel biased.

I personally can't afford a +$1,500 system, to do what I do. The $800 system I built, I admit is not the fastest in the world, but it works perfectly fine for me. If I were more into Photoshop and Video editing than I am now, I would save up and get an Intel system.

Now with what nedwards has stated, they will add a "budget" PC build next, fine. Just remember NOT everyone can afford even the "Baseline" PC. So I welcome the idea of the budget build.

It was not my intent to start a flame war btween Intel and AMD, unfortunately that is what it has seemed to become. So with that said, I will end my side of the discussion at that.

Goodnight.

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onewithazureskies

You don't have to spend $500 to get something that out-competes AMDs offerings. I have shopped for CPUs around the $200 mark at least since the Socket A days. I picked up the 3570k from Micro Center for $190 shipped on the day it went on sale. At the time, AMDs best cost about $220. Motherboard costs were pretty similar, with a slight edge to the Intel platform. In addition to being cheaper, the Intel chip is faster (for my usage scenario) and runs cooler. I simply couldn't justify buying AMD this time. This was my first Intel CPU purchase since the Pentium Pro.

I'll admit that I was a little hesitant about the limited number of PCI express lanes available on the platform, but with a thoughtful selection of components, it hasn't been a problem.

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CaptainFabulous

I have no problem with MPC doing budget builds, as getting the most bang for the least amount of money can be seen as "maximum". But that's not what this article is about. This particular article is about building the best PCs, not the most cost-effective. And since Intel currently makes the fastest chips that's what was used.

It's not an Intel vs. AMD flamewar. It's simply stating the facts. AMD currently doesn't have any top-tier CPUs. I wish they did. I wish they had products that could go head-to-head with Intel's best as it would provide some competition, options, and cost-cutting. But they don't. And as such any article about building the best rigs is going to have Intel chips.

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Mikey109105

I'm a little peeved that I didn't see a single AMD build in this article. Do you guys have something against AMD procs or something?

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illusionslayer

AMD's top of the line doesn't even match the 3570k used in the Baseline machine.

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nedwards

At these price points? Yes. They're just not competitive. Next month's Budget build is an AMD machine, though.

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limitbreaker

I really hope you use a cheap quad module CPU in your budget build, budget builds deserve some versatility and it's not always about getting the two extra frame rates if you can't have a bunch of background task while gaming. Amd CPU are great for virtualization and although the interger will cap and somewhat bottleneck your game (probably when running on bare minimum quality settings) they are great at performing lots of other things at the same time.

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