Gaming PC for 2012 – Best Parts Deals

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Radeon HD 6950

Price: around $200

The HD 6950 is the best value right now for serious gamers not looking to commit to overpriced bleeding-edge cards or SLI/Crossfire setups. Battlefield 3  looks great, Metro 2033 does, too; and what about Diablo 3, you say? Don’t take my word for it. (Don’t mind voiding your warranty? Learn how to overclock your 6950 to a 6970.)

AMD Radeon HD 6950 specifications

Core clock speed


Primitive rate

2 prim/clk

Shader architecture


Streamer processors

22 SIMD/1408 ALU

Texture units




Frame buffer


Memory Width/Speed

256bit, 5.0Gbps

PowerTune maximum limit


Typical gaming power


Typical idle power


Power connectors

2x 6-pin

Display outputs

2x DVI + 2x mDP + HDMI


Price: around $215

Intel’s K-series has been a boon to overclockers everywhere. This quad-core comes out of the box boasting a healthy 3.3Ghz clockspeed and using can be overclocked to 3.8Ghz without even upping the voltage (according to no dearth of reports from OC’ers from across the internet). If you’re serious about your overclocking and have an equally powerful water cooling system to back you up, the holy-5Ghz-grail is within reach. Check out the specs below.


Brand Intel Core i5
Processor Number i5-2500K


Price (1Ku) $216






Cores/ Threads




CPU Base Freq


3.3 Ghz


Max Turbo Freq


3.7 Ghz




1333 MHz


L3 Cache


6 MB


Intel® HD Graphics 2000/3000




Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency


up to 1100 MHz


Intel® Hyper-Threading




Intel® AVX




Intel® Quick Sync Video




Intel® vPro/ TXT / VT-d / Intel® SIPP




Intel® AES-NI




Intel® Virtualization








Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2×4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800)

Price: around $50

Memory is usually the easiest component to get a good deal on and this is a great deal. High-end, dual 4GB sticks for $50? It doesn’t get much better than this


Price: around $150

This little gem of a Z68 motherboard was built to overclock Sandy Bridge processors straight out of the box (like maybe the i5 recommended above…) with serious OC’ing knowledge required. Couple that with a competitive price, an ample supply ports, gorgeous BIOS (seriously, how can you say that?) and the ASUS brandname, this is a solid buy for any mid/high-end gamer.      


Seagate Momentus XT 500GB (Solid State Hybrid)

          Price: around $99

          Solid state is here and it’s neat. Sure, it’s more expensive, but once hard drive prices recover from the massive 2011 flooding in manufacturing centers in Thailand, a 1Tb drive will be cheaper than ever. Grab a solid-state drive in the meantime.

Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case

Price: around $130

You could probably do without this sweet little all-in-one PC case, but with almost a dozen removable drive bays; entire square feet of strong, metal mesh that protect your valuable components without sacrificing airflow and a 2-year warranty, I’d recommend paying the extra $70 over a bare bones case. Your call.

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular Power Supply

Price: around $60 (after rebates)

Don’t forget the power supply! Your fancy CPU and Radeon card are nothing without power, and this OCZ packs a whopping 700 Watts. (While still an excellent piece of hardware without the rebates, double check that the lower price is still available before you order.)

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