My new gaming rig - what do you think?

What I am currrently playing on:

Sony Vaio Z laptop Model: VPCZ117GG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU M 620 @ 2.67GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 7862MB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Display Memory: 472 MB
Dedicated Memory: 986 MB
Shared Memory: 3582 MB

Cost 3 years ago approx $3000

Upgrading to this week:

Dell XPS 8500
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 processor (3.40 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.90 GHz)
8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz Memory
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 1.5GB GDDR5
2TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with 32GB SSD SRT enhancement
Blu-ray Combo Drive (BD-R, DVD+/-RW), Write to CD/DVD
W2102205AU - XPS 8500 Desktop
Cost $1198

Dell 29 inch UltraSharp U2913WM Monitor
iagonal Viewing Size: 73.02 cm, 29 inches (29-inch wide viewable image size)
Panel Type, Surface:
AH In-plane switching, anti glare with hard coat 3H
Aspect Ratio: Ultra widescreen (21:9)
Optimal Resolution: 2560 x 1080 at 60 Hz
Preset Display Area (H x W): 694.6 x 308.9mm, 27.30" x 12.16"
Contrast Ratio: 1000 to 1 (typical), Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 2 Million:1 (Max)
Backlight Technology: LED
300 cd/m2 (typical), 50 cd/m2 (minimum)
Response Time: 8ms (grey to grey)
Viewing Angle: 178° vertical / 178° horizontal
Adjustability: Height-Adjustable stand, tilt , swivel and built in cable-management, capacitive touch OSD controls
Color Support: Color Gamut (typical): sRGB >99%, 82% (CIE 1976)7
Color Depth: 16.7 million colors
Pixel Pitch: 0.09 (H) mm x 0.26 (V) mm
Display Type: Widescreen Flat Panel Display
Cost $450

Any feedback welcome (on my buy and any tinkering i should do) as I am hoping i am making a good upgrade at a decent price. I havent bought a computer or played on a desktop in over 3 years. Also will be stuck with windows 8 i think


  • +4 votes

    Whats your budget? From here we could get you the best prices for the parts you want. Also do you know how to overclock?

    What games will you be playing?

    If you can build a machine yourself youll save alot.

    EDIT: im on windows 8. There is nothing to be 'stuck' on. Its honestly amazingly fast. I much prefer it over win 7


    Hey thanks for responding!

    My budget is $1600 for rig + monitor.

    I have never built anyting before and am not familiar with overclocking but i can read online and watch videos :) happy to try.

    The main game I play is called firefall (

    And a few games from Trion Worlds, Defiance, End of Nations. Dota 2

    Notthing too intense but it would be nice to try crysis 3

    Firefall System requirements:
    The recommended system specs to run Firefall are:
    Processor (AMD): Quad Core @ 2.8 Ghz (Athlon II X4, Phenom, Phenom II X4)
    Processor (Intel): Quad Core @ 2.4 Ghz (Core 2 Quad, i5, i7)
    GPU: AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 or Nvidia Geforce GTS 450
    MEMORY: 4 GB

  • +3 votes

    Massive ripoff, for $1600 you'd want a decent case and PSU and at least a 670. And in that build, that 660 will die under that monitor's native resolution even on moderate settings. Look at pccasegear's 1500 builds. Avoid these big box piles of junk.


      how do i know its not a decent case / PSU? Dell doesnt seem to supply that info.

      Hmm should I swap the monitor then? It will arrive tuesday so i might have some time to change it.

      Obviously the station is $1198 its the monitor that is the most expensive

      • +3 votes

        how do i know its not a decent case / PSU? Dell doesnt seem to supply that info.

        That's generally how. If a prebuilt system doesn't list it's PSU, chances are it's a generic PoS (avoid).

  • +5 votes

    It's not too hard to put a PC together and it's quite rewarding too, just takes a small amount of patience and time. If you wanted to give it a go we could always help you out.

    That's not too bad a rig for $1200, if you made it yourself though the quality to pick and choose is yours.

    As hzac said Windows 8 is blazingly fast; it takes a bit to get used to but if you understand their logic to try and re-work things you appreciate them after you get over the learning curve.


    if the 660 dies because of my monitor but i have it under warranty thats fine yeah?

    Im such a newbie when it comes to this stuff… I figured i would buy this as a start then upgrade the parts as i go and learn more.

    Totally open to suggestions and other options tho as if i understood things a bit more i could put a whole thing together. just dont really understand whats good and how it all goes together.

  • +1 vote

    What he means when he says dies under that monitor is that it's a bit of a waste for that resolution as performance wise the gtx 660 is not as great above 1920*1080


      ah :(

      Sounds like i should sell / swap my monitor then?

      Any recommendations for a good one? any size is fine


        I'm curious, why are you going for the 21:9 monitor? Not terribly sure how supported it is, considering it's relatively rare in monitors these days. I would much prefer a 2713HM (on sale, of course - this is OzBargain), if you're going to be spending that much on a monitor.


          i just got the 29 inch monitor because it looked so cool (after i read it on ozbargain and all the positive reviews).

          Also looks good for videos and games (and give a wider view so you can see more enemies) so tiny bit of an edge / strategy.

          And since the monitor was -$100 i figured it was a good deal. The really good 24 inch monitors were like $1000!

          The one you linked is $800 although it was on Ozbargain for 550 at one point (last month)


          Hows this one on sale:

          U2412M Ultrasharp gaming 24 inch monitor

          oo and this is the one you recommended they have a 2 for 1 sale:
          Dell™ UltraSharp U2713HM 27" Monitor with LED [Included in Price]
          x 2 for $1200

          anyone want to go 1/1 with me?


          Ah, I wasn't aware you already had the monitor. If you like it, then there really isn't much need to sell it. It's a relatively odd choice - I've never actually seen any user reviews on it, so I tend to recommend the more common products (hence the 2713HM - which is on sale quite often).


          oh the monitor is coming with the XPS 8500.

          I have ordered them both but have not received until this week so I can change the monitor if needed.

          I would have to change it pretty quick online though as they are shipping it to me on Tues


          Have you decided on changing the desktop? If so, I would just cancel the order outright (to give a bit more time to decide).

          The thing is, gaming at a resolution above 1920 x 1080 generally requires a damn good graphics card 7950/GTX670 minimum, higher recommended. Therefore, it'd probably be a good idea to iron out your desktop requirements and budget limits before making any hasty decisions.

          The best advice I can really give is to make a topic on Whirlpool, and ask for advice there. Generally speaking, they have loads of experience and will be able to guide you in the right direction much better than I can.


          thanks for your help! I assume running a lower resolution on a bigger monitor is bad / silly?

          PS my reserch on monitors lead me to this:

          BenQ XL2420T

          Best for gaming.

          Hmmmm to cancel or not to cancel haha argh! tough decisions


          I assume running a lower resolution on a bigger monitor is bad / silly?

          Depends on the distance between you and the monitor, and how sensitive you are about such things. Generally speaking, at 1920 x 1080 on a 27" monitor, the pixels will be more noticeable - but I know some people are fine with it.

          As for the 120Hz thing (sorry, forgot you mentioned it), it'll really only be beneficial if (a) you're heavily into FPS games and (b) if your graphics card can pull 120 frames per second (only the highest cards can). Since you'll need a pretty expensive graphics card for the 120Hz and 3D on the XL2402, I would say it's not worth it.

          If you want to keep the cost of the monitor + GPU relatively low, I think the best course of action would be to get a 24" IPS display from Dell (such as the one you linked earlier).


          Nah, I reckon a 7870 or a 570 would definitely be more than enough although if you have to choose between an i7/7870/570 or an i5/7950/580 I would definitely go with the i5. An i7 won't really help you unless you're doing video transcoding or run a heap of office applications and even then both of those can be greatly improved the an SSD which you can add later.

  • +3 votes

    The Core i7 is fairly unnessary. Hyperthreading (which is what makes Core i7 different from Core i5) is of no use for games meaning that a Core i5 3570k will do the job just as well (or almost as well) as a Core i7 3770, but for less money and with less power usage.

    You can make up for the difference in clock speed by overclocking the CPU. It's easy. Just change the multiplier, maybe overclock the RAM a little, and you're set.

    In fact, a Core i5 3570K will do the job for any kind of gaming. You'll want to spend the bulk of the cash on the GPU not the CPU.


    Have you bought the system yet?


      i have purchased it online but it wont arrive till tues so I can always change / cancel it

      I have a look at pc case gear too. But they seem a tiny bit over priced

      $1500 in total if i want to move up to the next graphics card

      If i knew i could get a better deal I would happy cancel but I did get -$500 off and mouse, keyboard all that jazz included.

      Did a lot of reserach online and the GT 660 seemed to get pretty good reviews


        I think it's a nice system and all but it's all relative depending on use and what not and if you want to game higher than 1920*1080 etc. One thing I'm not sure you saw or not is the gtx 660ti is different from the gtx 660 if you saw them in any builds.


    If you need any help feel free to ask as I just recently did research on comp parts and etc and bought my parts today or yesterday depending how you look at it


      Hey thanks, would you mind posting your specs, and where you got it from? You can send it in a private message if you prefer


        No probs. im building a mini-itx computer (basically a mini tower). so it should be noted that the case and motherboard will be different from standard ones.

        CPU: i5 3570k
        GPU: Gigabyte gtx 660ti OC
        SSD: Sanddisk Extreeme 120GB
        HDD: 1TB Seagate 7,200 RPM
        RAM: 8gb G.Skill
        PSU: 500w silverstone psu

        m-ITX parts
        Case: Lian Li PC-08
        Mobo: Gigabyte GA-z77n-wifi mobo

        i already have a 1920x1080 monitor and dont plan to play above that reso or on multiple monitors hence the card i chose

        with your budget you could probably move up a level in terms of gpu. also you could change the cpu and motherboard since you wont be overclocking. As the K series of cpu are for overclocking and require the chipset z77 on the motherboard.

        All my parts are from centrecom. i got them for a nice price since i was buying multiple things and luckily could get a discount :D


          Thanks buddy, Whats a mini tower - I asume its just smaller?

          How does this compare to yours? I See it lists a GTX 660 ti with 3 GIGS (Ive never seen a 660 ti with 3 before?)

          It doesnt list the brand of the memory unfortunately.

          $1299 Inc gst (does that mean +gst or this price includes it).

          Feel free to private message me the price y ou paid if you arent comfortable posting it here :) would love to know. My build will be very similiar to yours except I may consider a 670 or Radeon (so i can get the 2 free games deal and sell them for $80)

        • +1 vote

          I bought it all for ~1000 but yeah saw the build on whirlpool it's pretty solid. the only I have to say is tat although best bang for buck is the ati range the nvidia provides more consistency and less lantancy but I'm not sure about the higher tier range. I noticed some talks about mini towers. I disagree with the poster about mini being crap due to you not planning to really fiddle around with it so if you do take a liking to it by all means. Cases and size are all highly subjective and personalised and remember you did move from a lappy something much smaller than a mini tower lol but yeah hoped I helped


          thanks! thats pretty good for $1000 since the link i gave is $1299

        • +1 vote

          Yeah would have been a bit more ~1150 had I not gotten the discount also I'm assembling myself

  • +1 vote

    You didn't buy the crappy rubbish dell did you?


      You no like? They.will refund if I want


      Order cancelled and they are trying to stop it before it ships to me (as it was coming to me tomorrow). Fingers crossed.

      The sales guy really didnt want to cancel it and said I should test it first then I can send it back within 15 days if i dont like / am unhappy (I found though I would be up for $174 to send it back though).

      Spoke with another guy through dell facebook (Holland) Very very helpful and professional. He said I can try it out and he will waive the fee if im unhappy or I can cancel it outright.

      I will review my options and everyones recommendations.

      As excited as I was it sounds like the monitor would not have been optimal in this case.

      Back to step 1 :(, part of me is sad as I was excited about testing it out tomorrow, part of me is happy I can now asses my options

      • +6 votes

        Next time ask/listen to the advice first before you actually spend any money :)

        Common newbie mistake on Whirlpool:

        "What do you think of my system?"
        "It's crap, change a few things"
        "Lol too late, already received it"

        Though in reality most people just want a reassuring pat on the back that what they bought was a good choice.

  • +1 vote

    Avoid that screen if the system is for gaming, as lots of people above have noted.
    You can definitely build a better system if you are willing to put it together yourself for that money.
    It's really not hard, everything only plugs in one way and you can even avoid win8 then and get win7 instead.
    Even at that, most places that sell components will put a system together for $100 or less.

    Whirlpool was the right place to ask, you should get some well informed replies.

      • +1 vote

        another forum to ask (you could pretty much copy and paste your post from wp if you want) is Don't get me wrong, I love WP but OCAU by nature tends to be more PC oriented, with general system building threads to focused threads such as Memory, Storage etc. It'll put your schedule back a little but you'll be assured you are getting the best bang for buck. Many of its members are also WP & Ozbargain users so you're still talking to like-minded people.

        Often overlooked, have you thought about your choice of fans? What about a fan controller? I spent a bit of money on my system, I'm no gamer but the system was built to be capable of some fun stuff. 90% of my computer use is work related where performance is not important, I just want a silent system (hence fan controller). I would highly recommend a larger SSD though, 120GB at least. Under $100.

        I would build it yourself, you'll be very proud of yourself at the end and have the joy everyday knowing you did it all yourself. If it's your first time, allocate a good day to doing it right - including cable tying everything back for maximum airflow etc. Definitely pick a good power supply, I can't recommend Seasonic highly enough, though you will pay a slight premium.

        I could keep writing but probably half of what I've said it outside of your scope so I'll stop talking (you probably won't care about fans/psu/controllers, most people don't) Whatever you end up doing, $1600 budget won't disappoint you. Have fun with it and be sure to let us know what you end up doing! :)

        EDIT: For parts ideas, I use this site a lot - - by all means buy elsewhere, but they are a good resource for putting a virtual system together as they'll likely have 90% of your parts in the one place.


          thanks buddy!


          No problem. I didn't realise how much I'd written until I checked back in on my laptop (much smaller screen shows just how much I actually wrote)… freakin' essay! Oh well, hope you got something out of it :)


          nah it was good im over on overclockers now. Turns out i had an account from 2006 lol just havent used it in like 6 years haha.

          Getting close to purchasing, just finalising some of the finer details and seeing if i have any old parts I can use :p (like my laptop 256GB SSD)


    hmmm so ive been working through my build on whirlpool and overclockers got some great suggestions and have almost locked it down (just waiting for a promotion or discount)…

    Well Dell is trying to get me back with 40% off… ANy thoughts??

    256GB SSD and 16 GB ram not bad.

    XPS 8500
    Online Price $2,598.98
    Cash Off $1,039.59
    Discounted Price $1,559.391

    XPS 8500 Base for Direct
    16GB (4X4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz Memory
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 1.5GB GDDR5
    256GB SSD+2TB SATA Hard Drive 7200 RPM
    Blu-ray Combo Drive (BD-R, DVD+/-RW), Write to CD/DVD
    Integrated high definition 7.1 channel audio
    Dell Wireless 1703 (802.11 b/g/n) WLAN half mini-Card
    3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 processor (3.40 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.90 GHz)
    Wireless Mouse is included in Dell™ Consumer Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
    W2102209AU - XPS 8500 Desktop

    • +1 vote

      You can build an identical system with 16GB of RAM for less money. And I doubt you need 16GB of RAM to begin with anyway…

      Stick with the original suggestion above— its more balanced for gaming. You get a system that's overclockable, runs cooler, games faster, has a nicer looking, bigger case and more reliable PSU.


    ok thanks i think i was just getting tempted by the 256GB SSD and the big discount when like you said can do it for cheaper and better quality elsewhere haha thanks

    Impulse buy - averted :)

    • +1 vote

      The main problem is that the Intel marketing sells computers. So they are advertised as 'i7' because people recognise it and think that means the computer is good, but it this case you are paying for nothing.

      Same with memory, there is marginal benefit above 8G.

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