Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Putting together a new Gaming/Programming PC. Please review for me.

Last response: in Systems
Share
March 23, 2013 2:10:51 AM

I've been putting off building a new PC for a while (with family and budget), but my current PC just can't handle games like TW: Empires, Civ5, Skyrim (unless on low-to-normal settings), and many others without having hick-ups. I've had this system for 4 years, and originally it wasn't even meant for gaming. It runs on a workstation card and a dual core AMD Athlon 7750 @ 2.71GHz, with 4GB RAM (3.25 due to XP Home).

So, I'm putting together a system that can handle the games I've mentioned, and maybe Far Cry and a few others that I didn't get a chance to play yet. I don't have to be able to run everything on ultra, but I wouldn't mind high or even normal but without any glitches, major frame rate loses. As far as anything besides games... I use Photoshop once a while, Blender 3D once in a blue moon, starting up on ZBrush (but just as a once in a while thing), and mostly (60% of the time) C++ and Java programming. Of course, about 35% of the time is gaming and 5% is miscellaneous stuff.

I would like to get 5 years out of this new system. My current system is 1 year away from the happy mark, and I could continue on milking it, but the frustration of not being able to play certain games without hang-ups, and inability to run several applications at the same time during application development without experiencing some sort of hang-ups or even a blue screen once in a rare wild moon (luckily happened only 2-3 times in 4 years) is getting to me.

As I mentioned above I don't expect a super gaming slash developer system... I just want a decent gaming computer with decent multi-programming capabilities.

Here's the setup I'm going with so far:

*Note: I used Amazon and NewEgg for pricing due to my satisfaction from previous purchases with those two places, but if you know a place with good reputation that offers lower prices -- do, tell me. I chose those prices also based on free shipping, since most of the time shipping will end up off-setting the low cost of a product, unless you find something that's cheaper with shipping included.

Case: Corsair Carbide Series Black 300R Mid-Tower Computer Case NewEgg - $69.99 + free 16GB Flash drive (which I actually needed anyways, so that's a good bonus). You get $10 rebate card, but I don't count that, since it takes a while to get that anyways.

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77 LGA 1155 Amazon - $135.91

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz - Amazon - $219.99

CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 120mm Amazon - $33.24

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX SSC 650 Ti 1GB GDDR5 Amazon - $149.99

RAM: Corsair vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz Amazon - $62.98

HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB Amazon - $93.81

PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX 600 80 Plus Amazon - $66.24

WiFi Card: ASUS PCE-N15 N Card Amazon - $26.99


Subtotal: $859.14
Tax (8%): $68.73
Total: $927.87


I didn't include the OS because I already have access to Windows 7 and Windows 8 as a student.

I don't wish to expand my current system to save some money, simply due to the fact that I have plans for it as the CNC computer to run my CNC router mill in my garage. So this fella will get used for a while longer either way.

As far as components, I know I could go for 16GB of RAM, but since RAM is one of the cheapest components these days, I can expand it easily if I need to and once I have some spare cash laying around. As far as the GPU... I've been looking at nicer ones and even considered getting one of the 2GB ones to make it more future-proof. However, here lies the issue: you can always get better components and at some point you have to draw the line. My line was drawn on top spending more than approximately $160 on GPU.

As far at the CPU, I'm not sure if I'm over-doing it, but after reviewing lots of benchmarks and considering that I plan on running several applications on my two monitors, I think it'll be a good and solid choice. If I wish to upgrade later on, I don't have to worry about upgrading both CPU and GPU, since GPU would be the bottle-necker in this setup.

I went with the WD Black 1TB HDD, rather than SSD primarily because of the budget.... I wouldn't mind getting a 250GB drive for OS and main applications... however, I think I'll just wait until they get cheaper.

I couldn't find a better case for the price... and same thing with the PSU. I have more power than I need, but at that price it's not that big of a deal.

As far as MoBo goes... I just went with what was popular and recommended previously. I'm not sure if I could go with something much cheaper that would be just as reliable and perform just as well.

So, if you guys don't mind, could you please look over the build and see if you can make any adjustments? My main criteria is that costs cannot increase, unless there's literally a very significant improvement in performance for a very tiny added cost. I would actually like to reduce the costs and be able to retain the performance and reliability. I wouldn't mind lowering it into $700-$800 range if possible.
March 23, 2013 2:18:57 AM

your build is very solid. IMO an ssd is the single best upgrade you can get to ensure a fast system. program load times/game loads are lightening fast. while it won't help with FPS....who likes waiting 5 minutes for a level or windows to load. your could go lower on your motherboard but i am one to not skimp on PSUs or motherboards....they are the heart of your system and you want a healthy heart to live along time (pun intended)!
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 2:21:57 AM

i suggest getting a AMD Radeon 7850 2GB
m
0
l
Related resources
March 23, 2013 2:24:39 AM

id Highly recommend a i7 for your productivity. the programs u use are hyperthreaded activated meaning it will take advantage of hyperthreading which the i7 has. most people in your line of work arent interested in overclocking. id say save some money for the h77 boards. keep the ram at 16gb. compiling loves ram and eats it. no opinion on the 650ti. its fine. small notion on the psu....cx series of corsair has a problem with capacitors..theyre made by a cheap chinese company...move to a seasonic brand. do you need wifi? hdd is great

thats my synopsis
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 2:54:13 AM

Unfortunately, I don't want to make any changes that will move the cost of the system up, since I'm already sort of over my "allowed" budget.


atomicWAR, I have been considering of getting a smaller SSD for OS and main applications, but I'm worried that I don't have enough knowledge of setting up drives correctly. My current system has a 250GB hard drive and a 2TB hard drive that I added a year later. The 250GB hard drive is split into two partitions and 2TB is kept as one partition for all my data storage. The smaller of the 250GB partitions is ~38GB and the other one is ~195GB. The OS is installed on the smaller partition and all the applications are installed on the 195GB one. Sometimes I run into problems of where I try to download something large and unpack it (all being done on the larger partition), the system throws me an error message of insufficient space on the smaller partition. I'm guessing it has to do with the Temp folder. Also, even though I install things on the larger partition, there are lots of files that end up on the smaller OS partition. So, as you see, it worries me that if I get a smaller SSD drive for faster boot and start-up of major applications, I'll somehow end up with a similar issue.

ARICH5, I do, need the Wifi. My house is structured in a way where it's almost impossible for me to attach my computer to the network by physical means without having the cable running across two rooms. And I don't see a whole lot of need of shooting all the way to i7. My current system and my i3 mini laptop perform most of the compiling so far without too much of the difficulty. Of course, it's a bit painful sometimes when certain sequences or algorithms take too long to execute (take Pascal's triangle as a simple example). i5 will be such a huge upgrade that I think I'll be pretty satisfied with it for several years. Plus, there's always that budget thing. If money was not a concern, trust me, I'd be the best of the best.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 3:31:44 AM

Well since you are already getting the case from Newegg you could order everything from them and save some more money. I checked and Newegg has everything you listed and comes in at $658.92 and that is before the $30 back in mail in rebates. If you can wait 4-7 days then you can get it with no shipping cost to boot.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 3:37:34 AM

bkboggy said:
Unfortunately, I don't want to make any changes that will move the cost of the system up, since I'm already sort of over my "allowed" budget.


atomicWAR, I have been considering of getting a smaller SSD for OS and main applications, but I'm worried that I don't have enough knowledge of setting up drives correctly. My current system has a 250GB hard drive and a 2TB hard drive that I added a year later. The 250GB hard drive is split into two partitions and 2TB is kept as one partition for all my data storage. The smaller of the 250GB partitions is ~38GB and the other one is ~195GB. The OS is installed on the smaller partition and all the applications are installed on the 195GB one. Sometimes I run into problems of where I try to download something large and unpack it (all being done on the larger partition), the system throws me an error message of insufficient space on the smaller partition. I'm guessing it has to do with the Temp folder. Also, even though I install things on the larger partition, there are lots of files that end up on the smaller OS partition. So, as you see, it worries me that if I get a smaller SSD drive for faster boot and start-up of major applications, I'll somehow end up with a similar issue.

ARICH5, I do, need the Wifi. My house is structured in a way where it's almost impossible for me to attach my computer to the network by physical means without having the cable running across two rooms. And I don't see a whole lot of need of shooting all the way to i7. My current system and my i3 mini laptop perform most of the compiling so far without too much of the difficulty. Of course, it's a bit painful sometimes when certain sequences or algorithms take too long to execute (take Pascal's triangle as a simple example). i5 will be such a huge upgrade that I think I'll be pretty satisfied with it for several years. Plus, there's always that budget thing. If money was not a concern, trust me, I'd be the best of the best.


Well i understand what your saying but if you pick up 120g + ssd (do not partition it into multiples...run it as one drive) and then use a mech hard (500gb-1tb) drive for your "data" drive you should not have that issue.

ssd note you could also raid two small 80gig and get even better performance.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 4:10:43 AM

bryonhowley said:
Well since you are already getting the case from Newegg you could order everything from them and save some more money. I checked and Newegg has everything you listed and comes in at $658.92 and that is before the $30 back in mail in rebates. If you can wait 4-7 days then you can get it with no shipping cost to boot.


Really? It was coming out more expensive for me on newegg.... U.S., right? And did you put in all the components I listed? It comes out as $878.91 before taxes for me... which is higher than Amazon.

atomicWAR, well I wouldn't partition SSD anyways since it's highly not recommended... but 120GB is not a whole lot for OS + applications. With the sizes of the programs these days I'd be forced to uninstall some eventually. Example: SimCity (2013) - 10GB drive space requirement.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 4:11:49 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you can get this board instead
it will save some money and then you can get hd7850 2GB which will be good for gaming at 1080p
and you can skip hyper 212 evo for now to save money for hd7850 as i5-3570k/i5-2500k is around 4 times faster than athlon 7750


or another option is fx8350 (and am3+ board)


also , for i5-2500k/3570k and hd7850 get vx430 or vs-450 as these are enough (even for overclocked cpu and gpu)
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 4:21:49 AM

truegenius said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you can get this board instead
it will save some money and then you can get hd7850 2GB which will be good for gaming at 1080p
and you can skip hyper 212 evo for now to save money for hd7850 as i5-3570k/i5-2500k is around 4 times faster than athlon 7750


or another option is fx8350 (and am3+ board)

also , for i5-2500k/3570k and hd7850 get vx430 or vs-450 as these are enough (even for overclocked cpu and gpu)



Wouldn't I miss out on some performance from the Z77 chipset of the other board? And that board is not enjoying good reviews either.

How about one these lower grade boards from what I chose originally:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both seem to have good rep, but obviously have less features than the other one. They still maintain the Z77 chipset.

I do like your suggestion of sticking with the stock cooler for now and not overclock just yet... once I get more money for the cooler I can attempt to overclock. That's money that can easily go towards a better card. Good thinking.

Who makes vx430, vs-450?

Which brand HD 7850 would you guys recommend though? XFX, Saphire, MSI, HIS, Gigabit, ASUS, etc.?
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 4:44:54 AM

z77 vs p67
-> you will not be able to use the igpu of 3570k/2500k cpu. ( btw i prefer 2500k over 3570k as 3570k doesnot overclock well :whistle:  , you can go with either)
-> your pcie slots will run at v2.0 speed only instead of v3.0 (though 3.0 is just a gimmik, i.e, it have no performance difference)
-> no native usb 3.0 support in p67 (though that fatality does have 2 usb3.0 ports via controller)

and thats all that you will mis

both support 2nd/3rd gen intel core i3/5/7 cpu
both have good vrm system (means good overclocking

here is a review of that board
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4167/asrock_fatal1ty_p...
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 4:55:26 AM

i prefer gigabyte and sapphire for value for money, and asus for good overclocking on graphics cards

my mistake :p  , its cx430
cx430 and vs-450 are of corsair brand
http://www.corsair.com/us/power-supply-units/vs-series-...
http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx430-v2-80plus-c...

those 2 boards (asrock "pro3" and msi "g41") only have 4 phase for cpu
so they will not be able to handle an overclocked i5 that well
and it will take more voltage to overclock i5 on 4 phase, that ultimately means more heat amd less cpu chip life

so , for overclocking, those board are not that good, otherwise they are good for non-overclocking
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 5:01:51 AM

truegenius said:
i prefer gigabyte and sapphire for value for money, and asus for good overclocking on graphics cards

my mistake :p  , its cx430
cx430 and vs-450 are of corsair brand
http://www.corsair.com/us/power-supply-units/vs-series-...
http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx430-v2-80plus-c...

those 2 boards (asrock "pro3" and msi "g41") only have 4 phase for cpu
so they will not be able to handle an overclocked i5 that well
and it will take more voltage to overclock i5 on 4 phase, that ultimately means more heat amd less cpu chip life

so , for overclocking, those board are not that good, otherwise they are good for non-overclocking


You mentioned that the board you referenced will run my card at 2.0 and 3.0 being a gimmick. Is it due to the fact that no one uses 3.0 yet? What if they're used a year from now? Is it something on the software side, or does it only have to do with hardware? Those 3.0 usb slots.... will I notice any performance difference since they're going through the controller? Also, where did you get the 4 phases for CPU? I don't see it in details, just trying to understand.

Also, what do you guys think.. would it be better for me to switch to WD Blue from Black? I've been reading around and the performance difference is almost not noticeable. The biggest difference is 32MB and 64MB caches.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 5:24:43 AM

usb through native or through controller have no difference
every manufacturer do this to increase number of usb3.0 ports in their higher quality boards
so they are same in performance, useabilty and compatability

current generation does not utilize full bandwidth of even pcie x16 v2.0 so jumping to 3.0 for now or after even 5 years from now will not influence performance
so you will not need v3.0 for gaming (graphics card)


explaination
some points about pcie 2.0 and pcie 3.0
roughly, bandwidth of v2.0 is half of 3.0 (v3 = 2x v2 = 4x v1)
means 16 lanes of 2.0 have 8GB/s of bandwidth and 3.0 have 16GB/ of bandwidth
current gpu use pcie interface to communicate/exchange data with other components like cpu.
it is noticed that 4GB/s of data rate is enough for even a highend graphics card

so to get 4GB/s bandwidth in v2.0 slot, we need only 8 lanes, i.e, pciex 16 v1.0 or pcie x8 v2.0 or pcie x4 v3.0 have 4GB/s of bandwidth which enough for current highend single graphics cards

though, that asrock fatality board have pcie x16 2.0 so that means more than enough bandwidth
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 5:28:03 AM

truegenius said:
usb through native or through controller have no difference
every manufacturer do this to increase number of usb3.0 ports in their higher quality boards
so they are same in performance, useabilty and compatability

current generation does not utilize full bandwidth of even pcie x16 v2.0 so jumping to 3.0 for now or after even 5 years from now will not influence performance
so you will not need v3.0 for gaming (graphics card)


explaination
some points about pcie 2.0 and pcie 3.0
roughly, bandwidth of v2.0 is half of 3.0 (v3 = 2x v2 = 4x v1)
means 16 lanes of 2.0 have 8GB/s of bandwidth and 3.0 have 16GB/ of bandwidth
current gpu use pcie interface to communicate/exchange data with other components like cpu.
it is noticed that 4GB/s of data rate is enough for even a highend graphics card

so to get 4GB/s bandwidth in v2.0 slot, we need only 8 lanes, i.e, pciex 16 v1.0 or pcie x8 v2.0 or pcie x4 v3.0 have 4GB/s of bandwidth which enough for current highend single graphics cards

though, that asrock fatality board have pcie x16 2.0 so that means more than enough bandwidth


How did you determine that the other two boards had only 4 phases for overclock? I've read through some reviews on new egg and it appears people have a lot of issues with that board and Ivy.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 5:40:22 AM

many manufacturer show the phase count and type like asus do this in their rog series board
but those who use 4 or less phase , they do not bother to mention it
and to get this detail i usually do a google search like this "asus maximus 5 gene phase" and in many results it show the phase count.

more the phase means less voltage needed to get same clock speed during overclock that translate to less temp more chip life and higher stable overclock

the chips used in vrm system (phase) are also important as they handle most current, like mosfet chips are low end, low-rds is good and IR3550 PowIRstage ic are even better

and heatsing on those chips (near cpu socket) is also good which contributes to good vrm system

ie, more phase count, good ic and good cooling system makes a good vrm system that means better overclocking

i always search for phase count of boards for overclocking
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 8:08:36 PM

truegenius said:
many manufacturer show the phase count and type like asus do this in their rog series board
but those who use 4 or less phase , they do not bother to mention it
and to get this detail i usually do a google search like this "asus maximus 5 gene phase" and in many results it show the phase count.

more the phase means less voltage needed to get same clock speed during overclock that translate to less temp more chip life and higher stable overclock

the chips used in vrm system (phase) are also important as they handle most current, like mosfet chips are low end, low-rds is good and IR3550 PowIRstage ic are even better

and heatsing on those chips (near cpu socket) is also good which contributes to good vrm system

ie, more phase count, good ic and good cooling system makes a good vrm system that means better overclocking

i always search for phase count of boards for overclocking


Sounds good. So, I'll get rid of the cooler for now, until I decide to overlock the CPU. I'll definitely switch to HD 7850 2GB (probably Gigabit or Saphire). And I'll have to do a bit more research on the motherboards. The one you suggested sounds good from your point of view and explanation (sounds like you know what you're talking about), but the reviews are so awful for that board..... worries me.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 11:08:59 PM

sapphire...ive had to rma 2 7770's from gigabyte. i wanted the gb cuz its oc'd higher than any other vendor.
m
0
l
March 23, 2013 11:24:11 PM

ARICH5 said:
sapphire...ive had to rma 2 7770's from gigabyte. i wanted the gb cuz its oc'd higher than any other vendor.


Sounds good, thanks.

Looks like I've got everything pin pointed where I like it, except the motherboard... still can't decide....
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 12:39:38 AM

after reading the reviews at newegg, i found that it have old bios and causing problems thus need to update bios

so what about this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with enough extension ports and good for overclocking to 4.5ghz with z77 chipset
cost same (including shipment)
thus saves some money
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 12:42:17 AM

personal choice...: that mobo doesnt have a vga output...i use vga to troubleshoot old monitors using igp.
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 12:51:20 AM

Programming doesn't require a powerful rig, any recent mass manufactured computer can handle it and even for the creation of GUI which may involve using Photoshop. Really programming with what you mentioned above is overkill. My old Dell Optiplex 755 (Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM) could handle it. Otherwise most of what you have there is good.

Maybe get the non K-version of the i5 3570. But then again it is kind of like the i5 2500k in which it will be good for many years.
The Radeon HD 7850 2GB is good value and will handle most games + all the other stuff you might do. Maybe a bit more than 8 GB of RAM. Consider 16. To future proof yourself and especially if that code your compiling has a million lines.

A 1TB hard drive might be enough. Depending but I would get two 1 TB hard drives and hook them up in RAID. Also perhaps an SSD of around 120 GB. Hold your OS in it, some of your most neccesary apps, and the games you maybe currently playing. Then you put the games back in your HDD.

What I recommend is the i5 3470. h77 chipset as it has turboboosting but no overclocking capabilties. 8GB of RAM. 2 HDD with 1 TB of memory $140. SSD maybe just go for a 60 GB one. That would be $80. The GPU a Radeon HD 7790 as it is replacing the GTX 650 Ti for the $150 price mark. Or wait for the revised version of the 650 as the Nvidia cards have CUDA and Physx. Which I am not sure maybe of worth to you. Additional cooling if you want. Go a system cooler instead of a CPU one.
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 1:30:01 AM

truegenius said:
after reading the reviews at newegg, i found that it have old bios and causing problems thus need to update bios

so what about this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with enough extension ports and good for overclocking to 4.5ghz with z77 chipset
cost same (including shipment)
thus saves some money



That looks like a pretty sweet board for the price sticker.
What about this one? (looks like a cheaper version of the board) http://www.amazon.com/LGA1155-Z77-CrossFireX-Motherboar...


whistler51, I'm not building it just for programming -- I do gaming quiet a bit on it. As far as memory, yeah.. I will definitely go up to 16 or even 32 when money permits. But 8GB is all I want to go with at this time, due to my programming not being up at the 16GB range at this moment. In a year or so I might move it up to 16GB. I have a 2TB HDD where I store most of my data and applications. What I'll probably end up doing is not buying HDD at this time and just use the 2TB HDD I have. I'll tough it out, lol, for a few month and then get a 25OGB SSD. Then I'll have that SSD and my 2TB HDD. I will build a home server in about 6 months (for about $500-600) where I'll store all my important data, so I won't worry if the 2TB gets too old and fails. I do want the K version of the CPU, due to its overclocking capability. So, my board will have to be Z77 or Z75 (if I go with the most recent generation board).
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 1:50:14 AM

Alright then. I reckon it is a solid build and with that CPU and GPU it will carry you a long way.
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 2:16:35 AM

bkboggy said:
truegenius said:
after reading the reviews at newegg, i found that it have old bios and causing problems thus need to update bios

so what about this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with enough extension ports and good for overclocking to 4.5ghz with z77 chipset
cost same (including shipment)
thus saves some money



That looks like a pretty sweet board for the price sticker.
What about this one? (looks like a cheaper version of the board) http://www.amazon.com/LGA1155-Z77-CrossFireX-Motherboar...


this board is equiped with only 4 phase for cpu, so with that board i will recommend 4.3ghz (max) overclock
asrock z75 pro3 is also an option for $80 at newegg with only 4 phase for cpu
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 3:13:48 AM

truegenius said:
bkboggy said:
truegenius said:
after reading the reviews at newegg, i found that it have old bios and causing problems thus need to update bios

so what about this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with enough extension ports and good for overclocking to 4.5ghz with z77 chipset
cost same (including shipment)
thus saves some money



That looks like a pretty sweet board for the price sticker.
What about this one? (looks like a cheaper version of the board) http://www.amazon.com/LGA1155-Z77-CrossFireX-Motherboar...


this board is equiped with only 4 phase for cpu, so with that board i will recommend 4.3ghz (max) overclock
asrock z75 pro3 is also an option for $80 at newegg with only 4 phase for cpu


Hmm, you're right. For $20 I'd rather have 8+4 phases, rather than 4. I'm going to do a bit more research, but so far that board looks pretty darn good, thanks. It's the best board for my specification (along with the 8+4 phases... most are 4 or 4+1) + pricing on newegg. I'll check Amazon next. What's nice too is that company used to be ASUS's daughter company and are competing with ASUS now... which translates into a better deal for me, heh


P.S.: What do you guys think of this HD 7850: http://www.amazon.com/R7850-2xMiniDisplayPort-TWIN-FROZ... Or is there a better one? I tried to find a good sapphire, but the ones with good reviews were much more expensive, and cheaper ones had bad reviews.

EDIT: Well, after looking around, that board seems to be the best one for the price. There are some better boards for extra $25-30, but there's always something better. This board has everything this system will ever need, so unless a better board turns up for the price, this is it. Now I just need to narrow down the HD 7850 2GB card and I'll be good to go.

At this point, with case and board being purchased from NewEgg and the rest form Amazon (I also changed the WiFi card to a $40 with better specs and reviews), this build comes out to $808.15 after taxes. So this is perfect! I wanted to keep it with $800 ceiling and this is pretty darn close. Note: this is without an HDD, I decided to use my current HDD until I save up a few hundred bucks for a 250GB SDD.
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 4:26:47 AM

this article may come handy to understand vrm
http://www.overclock.net/a/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboa...

this hd7870 costs only $220 ($195 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is much better than hd7850 and since it comes in your budget so here is a comparision link
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=548

or this hd7850 costs less $200 ($185 after rebate) and will let you buy a better board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

both are good for gaming at 1920x1080

if you are not open to rebates then these are good value for money as they are pre-overclocked
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 4:53:11 AM

truegenius said:
this article may come handy to understand vrm
http://www.overclock.net/a/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboa...

this hd7870 costs only $220 ($195 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is much better than hd7850 and since it comes in your budget so here is a comparision link
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=548

or this hd7850 costs less $200 ($185 after rebate) and will let you buy a better board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

both are good for gaming at 1920x1080

if you are not open to rebates then these are good value for money as they are pre-overclocked
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah, that 7870 seems to blow 7850 out of the water when it comes to Total War, which is what I play the most... so it's definitely a better option (for the same price too, weird). So, which of those recommended cards do you think is the best? The first MSI ($220) you mentioned?

Also you mentioned a card and getting a better board. Do you think I would need a better board than the last one you recommended? It seemed to have all the bells and whistles. What do you think?
m
0
l

Best solution

March 24, 2013 5:10:05 AM

if you aim for moderate overclocking (4-4.3ghz) then pro3 is good for you
for >4.5ghz overclock fatality performance is minimum

hd7870 is best (specially if you are open to rebates)

so without affecting the budget, it seems like we have this combo
4-4.3ghz + pro3 +hd7870
or
>4.5ghz + fatality + hd7850

both are too close with their own benefit
its 20 vs 21 for me, i prefer the rig with hd7870
but choice is yours
Share
March 24, 2013 3:04:11 PM

Yeah, I think I'll be going with HD 7870 + ASRock Z77 Performance. 7870 is amost the same price as 7850 and from specs and benchmarks blows it out of water on the things I do. The Z77 Performance offers that higher phase count for for ~$20 more than Pro-4 or Pro-3 in return for greater stability and less chance of a failure. I wish they had similar Z75 boards for a reasonable price, but there are not enough of those with the price that makes you want to go in that direction. I think the only thing that Z77 offers over Z75 is the mutli-card support and SSD cache. Since I'll get SSD soon and won't be using multiple cards with this board anyways, it's kind of pointless having Z77, but whatever.. there aren't many good Z75 boards.

So, the setup is:

CPU: Intel Core i-5 3570K $219.99 (Amazon and NewEgg, but NewEgg offers a $10 gift card on top of that)

Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Performance $109.99 + $2.99 shipping (NewEgg)

Video card: MSI R7870-2GD5T OC Radeon HD 7870 2GB 256-bit DDR5 $219.99 (NewEgg, you get a $25.00 rebate card ... eventually, lol)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4) DDR3 1600MHz $47.98 (Amazon)

PSU: Corsair Builder CX 430 $39.99 (NewEgg and Amazon)

Case: Corsair Carbide 300R $69.99 (NewEgg and Amazon, but with NewEgg you get 16GB flash drive, which I needed anyways)

WiFi Card: TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 $40.36 (Amazon) .. this one is a bit of an overkill, but it has amazing reviews.

Subtotal: $751.28
Total (8% Tax): $811.38

That total is before the $55.00 in gift/rebate cards from new egg. So, really, it's an $800 build without a storage drive.

In a few months I'll add SSD, better or more fans to the case and a better heatsink for the CPU before overclocking.

One last question, do you think that PSU will be enough for this system after it's overclocked? Or should I stay on a safe side and get 500 or even 600? Maybe I'm silly, but I think 600 would be a better choice? Considering that I'll overclock things and add a few more fans and a bigger heatsink fan, that power consumption is going to get up pretty high at peak use.
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 9:07:49 PM

Alright guys, after much consideration and additional research on things, I placed the orders with NewEgg and Amazon, and my parts should arrive in a week. I'll let you know how things work and I'll be trying to benchmark everything on stock first and then in a few months when things are modified I'll do it again. I decided to go with a 600W PSU due to the fact that I want to stay on a safe side. With additional fans, overclocking, my other devices being attached and drawing power (drawing tablet, digital microscope, etc.) I want to make sure I'm not pushing the PSU too hard. It probably is a bit more than I'll need, but it'll ensure that my PSU will hopefully last longer.

Big thanks to all and especially truegenius -- thanks a ton for all your valuable information!
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 9:44:50 PM

cx430 can handle overclocked i5 and hd7870
but since you are going to attach more devices and you want it to stay stable for a long time so it is a good decision to go for higher wattage :) 
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 9:59:48 PM

Awesome, thanks for your help! :) 
m
0
l
March 24, 2013 10:21:57 PM

My pleasure :) 
m
0
l
!