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1st Time Gaming Build, $1000-$1350 Budget: Please Critique

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March 14, 2013 10:36:42 PM

My Gaming Build: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/JKoD

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($254.22 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($140.44 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($125.73 @ TigerDirect Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.84 @ Vuugo)
Storage:Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($111.42 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($323.40 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Corsair CC650DW ATX Mid Tower Case ($167.98 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($78.38 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($20.14 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $1314.55

Obviously, the prices listed above will change by the time I purchase the hardware in April. I am on top of the price changes and will purchase at the lowest I can. I won't be paying more than $100 for 16GB of memory as I can find good deals as they pop up.

Approximate Purchase Date: April, 2013

Budget Range: $1000 - $1350, after taxes, shipping, and fees

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editing, streaming HD video, listening to music, surfing the net, office work

Games I would like to play: Crysis 3, Star Wars: 1313, Assassins Creed 4, FarCry 3, Planetside 2, Bioshock Infinite

Current monitor: Asus PA238QR, 23 inch

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg.ca, NCIX.ca, any other CANADIAN site

Overclocking: Yes, in the future

Crossfire: Yes, in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Please critique my build. I will be overclocking my GPU and CPU in the future. At that point, should I invest in a water cooling system? If so, which kind? Should I invest in a more powerful PSU now if I plan on running CrossFireX and OC in the future?

Also, not sure about the Gigabyte Radeon 7950 as I heard it is voltage locked and may not be good for OC. Should I go with another manufacturer? If so, which one?

This will be my first build. Any positive suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
March 14, 2013 11:22:56 PM

ultra_blue said:
My Gaming Build: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/JKoD

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($254.22 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($140.44 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($125.73 @ TigerDirect Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.84 @ Vuugo)
Storage:Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($111.42 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($323.40 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Corsair CC650DW ATX Mid Tower Case ($167.98 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($78.38 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($20.14 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $1314.55

Obviously, the prices listed above will change by the time I purchase the hardware in April. I am on top of the price changes and will purchase at the lowest I can. I won't be paying more than $100 for 16GB of memory as I can find good deals as they pop up.

Approximate Purchase Date: April, 2013

Budget Range: $1000 - $1350, after taxes, shipping, and fees

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editing, streaming HD video, listening to music, surfing the net, office work

Games I would like to play: Crysis 3, Star Wars: 1313, Assassins Creed 4, FarCry 3, Planetside 2, Bioshock Infinite

Current monitor: Asus PA238QR, 23 inch

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg.ca, NCIX.ca, any other CANADIAN site

Overclocking: Yes, in the future

Crossfire: Yes, in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Please critique my build. I will be overclocking my GPU and CPU in the future. At that point, should I invest in a water cooling system? If so, which kind? Should I invest in a more powerful PSU now if I plan on running CrossFireX and OC in the future?

Also, not sure about the Gigabyte Radeon 7950 as I heard it is voltage locked and may not be good for OC. Should I go with another manufacturer? If so, which one?

This will be my first build. Any positive suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Move up to at least a 650 Watt power supply so you have room for a second 7950! Other than that I like your build
a b 4 Gaming
March 15, 2013 3:24:01 AM

I think the below would be a good pick for you

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($31.05 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Memory Express)
Memory: GeIL EVO Veloce Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($99.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.50 @ Vuugo)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($350.00 @ Vuugo)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($114.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1247.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-15 06:23 EDT-0400)
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March 15, 2013 3:51:06 AM

1-you need a bigger PSU or 600w or 650w not more!
2-a gigabyte z77 would be better for oc!
3-every other component seems to be just fine!water cooling is not always needed!there are many good cooling systems like hyper evo or xigmatek aegir perfect for oc!
March 17, 2013 1:59:19 PM

The Gigabyte 7950 that I originally included above is voltage locked. I just figured that out last night. I'll be going with MSI's version instead.

Noob12 said:
Id take corsair or seasonic PSU 650w is good choice. AX , TX , and seasonic X and M series are good.
Take CPU cooler. This is cheap and good cooler: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64385&vpn=RR-212E-20PK-R2...

If you want maxim OC your video card. Then take a OC or GHZ model. They are not voltage locked.
Asus and Gigabyte are maybe the best cards. They have good ability to OC.



March 17, 2013 2:01:02 PM

Noob12 said:
Id go for a more silent case. Like Fractal R4 http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/fractal-design-case-fdc...
And better MoBo. the gigabyte X-D3H do have better connections. More usb ports and sata ports and so on. Better voltage regulators too.
And It is not much expensive board. But it is better.


Not a big fan of the Fractal R4. Would rather spend the extra $20 on the Corsair with a nice window and more space. I will take a look at the Gigabyte MOBO you suggested, thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
March 17, 2013 2:36:03 PM

If you are thinking of the 500R, just get the R4, it has much more space and a very solid case. If you're thinking of 600T, don't bother with it the 500R is much better and has more airflow.

the R4 can come with a windowed side panel if wanted.

It is smaller in the form of height but it is much wider which is why a lot of people mistake it for not having enough room.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition 89.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.00 @ Vuugo)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($254.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($114.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1114.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-17 17:34 EDT-0400)

the 7870 XT comes very close to the 7950 in terms of performance. It's pretty much a 7950 that performs a few frames less than the 7950 not to mention you can OC it to make it even better.

If you change the GPU i recommend jumping on the 7970 and skip the 7950
a b 4 Gaming
March 18, 2013 12:54:02 AM

Go for whatever case you like the look of best. As long as it fits the components it's all good. No point other people telling you what to get as you're the one that'll be looking at it every day.
March 19, 2013 2:22:04 PM

boulbox said:
If you are thinking of the 500R, just get the R4, it has much more space and a very solid case. If you're thinking of 600T, don't bother with it the 500R is much better and has more airflow.

the R4 can come with a windowed side panel if wanted.

It is smaller in the form of height but it is much wider which is why a lot of people mistake it for not having enough room.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition 89.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.00 @ Vuugo)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($254.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($114.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1114.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-17 17:34 EDT-0400)

the 7870 XT comes very close to the 7950 in terms of performance. It's pretty much a 7950 that performs a few frames less than the 7950 not to mention you can OC it to make it even better.

If you change the GPU i recommend jumping on the 7970 and skip the 7950


Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look at the Sapphire 7870 XT benchmarks and other info etc. I will also check out the R4 case you suggested.
March 19, 2013 2:22:30 PM

mikerockett said:
Go for whatever case you like the look of best. As long as it fits the components it's all good. No point other people telling you what to get as you're the one that'll be looking at it every day.


Yes, I agree. Thanks for the reply.

March 19, 2013 2:45:43 PM

Noob12 said:
Id go for a more silent case. Like Fractal R4 http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/fractal-design-case-fdc...
And better MoBo. the gigabyte X-D3H do have better connections. More usb ports and sata ports and so on. Better voltage regulators too.
And It is not much expensive board. But it is better.


Have you had any experience with the Fractal R4 case? Is it really that much quieter than a Corsair 650D and Corsair 600T? How much space does it have on the back side of the MOBO panel for cable management? Does it have enough gromets? How's the cooling potential?

I took another look at it and it looks good. Thanks for the suggestion and I look forward to your reply.

a b 4 Gaming
March 19, 2013 2:57:45 PM

The back side has enough room for the 24 pin(the thickest cable for the PSU) and for some extra cables to be routed over it.

The management is great and easy, lots of places to route to, i believe you wouldn't even need a modular PSU for this kind of case but i like modular PSUs because it just makes the build look really clean.

The grommet holes are very high quality unlike something of the NZXT phantom 410 which falls off very very easy(doesnt really matter because the holes are rounded but it just bugs me when it falls off).

The cooling potential is not the best(very similar to the 650D but it cools slightly better) so i find it fair. If you want to let it have better airflow, it is as simple as adding 1 or 2 more fans into the case just make sure they are quiet fans as it is the point of the case to be low profile(unless you want the windowed version to show off some stuff)
March 21, 2013 12:40:14 PM

boulbox said:
The back side has enough room for the 24 pin(the thickest cable for the PSU) and for some extra cables to be routed over it.

The management is great and easy, lots of places to route to, i believe you wouldn't even need a modular PSU for this kind of case but i like modular PSUs because it just makes the build look really clean.

The grommet holes are very high quality unlike something of the NZXT phantom 410 which falls off very very easy(doesnt really matter because the holes are rounded but it just bugs me when it falls off).

The cooling potential is not the best(very similar to the 650D but it cools slightly better) so i find it fair. If you want to let it have better airflow, it is as simple as adding 1 or 2 more fans into the case just make sure they are quiet fans as it is the point of the case to be low profile(unless you want the windowed version to show off some stuff)


Thanks for the reply. Is the case compatible with most of the aftermarket fans out there?

I ask this because the 650D and some of the other corsair cases have been known to accept only corsair made fans as they have different dimensions than most of whats out there.
a b 4 Gaming
March 21, 2013 1:55:17 PM

Only 140 and 120mm fans but you can put them in a lot of different places to make it look like its in the center if something at the top of the tray is blocking.

As for Coolers, it fits just about anything inside of it.
!