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Intel Ivy i5 Gaming Rig - Jun 2013

by dregnox



CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

46.0° C


Built this to replace my i3 540 gaming rig from 2011. I do some digital art and mostly game on this machine this machine also functions as a media server for the house.

I finally decided I should upgrade to something that was all around powerful and set out to slowly start buying parts. I acquired the majority of the parts over a 12 week period. Average part cost over time was about $100 a week by the time I bought all the parts. $1200ish. I also sold my i3 540 machine for $400 to a friend, so I recouped 1/3rd of the cost for this build.

If you had questions::

Drive choices? I don't have my boot drive listed as I cannibalized it from my i3, so, I wouldn't have to do a fresh install of everything, as I had just recovered my entire system from scratch on the i3 machine. I'm using a Sata2 500gb Seagate Barracuda for boot drive until I replace it with a 250gb SSD. The WD Black was intended to be the boot drive but the WD I got was "dead on arrival" and had to be RMA'd. So, I stuck with the 500gb and while the WD was being RMA'd I saw the Barracuda 1TB on sale, so, I picked that up as a second storage drive. The WD Black finally returned, but, the thing wrecked havoc on my systems boot process. No idea what was wrong with it. But, I finally got it to work by booting off the 500gb and plugging the Sata cord into the WD while the system was running. Everything was fine after that, but I am not gonna use it as a boot drive. Using it as game and program storage.

Why Ivy? I held out on purchasing my mobo and processor until the last minute to see what people had to say about Haswell. The results weren't worth the money, so, I stuck with Ivybridge and got my Mobo and Processor on a good bundle deal.

Why RAM choice? RAM is 1600mhz because performance gain in games in negligible with higher clock speed RAM. 1600mhz was a good price range as well offered very good performance for non-game related tasks.

Why air? You can push i5-3570Ks to 4.5ghz with an aggressive on-air overclock. I'm sitting pretty at a modest 4.2ghz

Why HD7970? They were the best price to performance part at the time and also the first part I purchased as It would fit straight into my i3 machine until I got to buying more parts. Plus, I've always had AMD/ATI GPUs since the Radeon HD 4870.

Why no DVD drive? I don't use optical media very often and when I do need to burn or read a disc I have a USB DVD drive.

PSU choice? It was purchased as it was on sale. I wasn't bothered by non-modular PSUs as the case extra wires I simply tie-up and place flat on the base of the case so there is no interference with airflow.

Comments Sorted by:

RustyBaker 5 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Very well thought-out. +1 And if a part isn't listed, just use the custom part selection. It gives you the option to enter the part's URL, so the rest of us can see the cool parts that are out there we wouldn't normally see in "Gaming Rig #228!"

dregnox submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks for the advice. I didn't realize I could do that. I made the changes to reflect the actual product.

cgilmore024 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Nice build. Now all you need is a new desk!

dregnox submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I know, right. haha. That's a project for when the semester is done and I finally have some free time to completely rearrange my room.

ESPM400 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Another person with all of the drives... How much total space are you up to? When I replace my aging 500GB WD Book, I'll be up to 10TB. All but my 500GB SSD in WD Books (I travel a lot with my gaming laptop), although a couple had to be moved to enclosures.

I've always found it funny that we leave the plastic on things to prevent scratches (I'm the same way), yet it would look better with some scratches and the plastic removed...

dregnox submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Oh man, you threw my head for a loop. I had completely forgotten about the plastic, haha. Yeah, I'm not usually too concerned about about the scratches for glossy stuff, it's kind of expected. I think my case being scratched would bother me, though. Damn, 10TB. I'm at 5.5TB total, 4TB usable. I'm missing 500gb off the back of my WD external as it has a hidden clone of my boot drive. There is a dying 1TB WD Green from a WD external sitting in the system but I don't really want to trust a drive that can only write to half it's sectors, so it sits unpowered.