I've had a few people asking about the specs on my new gaming machine, so here they are! This upgrade should have came about a year ago but thanks to a trusty desk fan I managed to keep my old computer going for this long. The hardware was still running all of the latest games perfectly fine, but it was always overheating and the case was tiny with not much run to expand above 8GB RAM on the motherboard.
The processor is the Intel 3rd Generation Core i5-3570K CPU (4 x 3.40GHz, Ivy Bridge, Socket 1155, 6Mb L3 Cache, Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0) which is currently the fastest i5 on the market, and can be over clocked easily to about 5.2ghz without damaging or overheating. If you're wondering why I went for the i5 instead of i7 then it's because this is a gaming machine and the processor doesn't play as much as part as the GPU, so the price difference (£100+) wasn't worth the upgrade to i7.
I went for the Asus P8Z77-V LX as the motherboard because of the price and the features. I needed USB 3.0 support and this has 4 + 2 for case, which was perfect. It also comes with 2 + 2 USB 2.0 ports which always come in handy for various gadgets. The is also the Asus P8Z77-V which has SLI support and built in WiFI for an extra £40 which I didn't need, but others might find handy.
For the RAM I went for Corsair 8GB DDR3 Vengeance Memory Module Kit which I will be upgrading to 16gb tomorrow to fill up the extra slots on the motherboard and future proof the system a little more. The board actually support 32GB which is pretty awesome if you're going for a really intense setup.
For the case I decided to go for something fancy since my last one kinda sucked. The Cooler Master 690 II Nvidia Edition looked amazing in the shop and even better on my desktop with the lights on the front! I'm also considering buying an extra light for inside to make the side graphic glow more. This case is huge and has a removable bay for SSD and 3 case fans built right in for great air flow. To my surprise it actually runs silent even when playing games like Borderlands 2 on full graphics. There are rubber pads on the base and the disk bays are made from rubbery plastic material to soften sound if you had spinning disks. My favourite feature when building it was the hole in the base to filter wires through the back and out of site for better cable management.
It's all powered by a Cooler Master GX-Lite 600W Power Supply that runs silent and comes with plenty of connections to power all the internals. I was falsely told this was a modular supply but it isn't. I didn't mind this too much when paired with the case's built in cable management system, though.
My graphics card I already owned, so I kept that since it's still very powerful even for the latest games. It's a GeForce GTX 660 SC 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card and I haven't had any issues running games on highest settings since I bought it in October 2011 so I would highly recommend.
For storage I already had an OCZ 240G Agility 3 SSD so I simply transfered that over with all of my system already installed and running Windows 8 with all of my steam games. I also bought an extra 1tb drive for my server so move some more movies over and clear up more space for games!