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Need help making sure my first build is ok.

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April 13, 2013 8:47:35 AM

Hey all, my name is Mike. I'm new to this site, even though i have been reading these forums for a while trying to learn. So after the announcement of the PS4 i started reading alot of articles about it's performance compared to a nice gaming PC and how it really isn't that powerful compared to one. That got me thinking about building my own gaming pc. So i decided to do some research and read alot on these forums about a gaming pc, and came to the conclusion it's cheaper to build one myself. Plus i get to learn more in the process. I like the idea of being able to know how to fix my computer myself. It's also going to be a great feeling knowing i built it myself. I'm going to be purchasing all my parts from newegg since i like their prices as well. Anyway so i came up with this build and i wanted to know get advice and opinions on my choices of hardware and if there are any tips or advice about changing anything. Here it is. Oh and by the way my budget for this is $1200.00 But if i could keep it a little under it would be great.

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $119.00

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - $209.00

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $94.99

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 - $32.99

Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR - $66.99

Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $74.99

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $69.99

Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM - $17.99

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $289.00

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $99.00

Total - $1077.90

I was hoping i could get some help and maybe hear some opinions if there are some changes i should make. I'm not sure if the power supply is enough for the video card, and is that a great video card to start out with for bang for my buck? And i plan to overclock my cpu and gpu as well. This is my first post so any help would be greatly appreciated. I just want to have the best system i can have for the money i am going to be spending. Thanks guys.

More about : making build

April 13, 2013 9:29:01 AM

Looks really good to me Mike. You've got a good build there. I think you'd be fine with what you've chosen, but I'm throwing a few suggestions your way to consider... Spending up not down I'm afraid!
- I'd step up to a better PSU. There's really good specials at newegg on Seasonic Bronze models at the semi-modular models at the moment. The 750W here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is overkill for you really, but after rebate it's $85, usually $130. That'd allow you to crossfire later if you wanted. Plus it's semi-modular which is nice. If you never want to crossfire, stick with what you've got, but that's a pretty nice special on the seasonic.
- The Pro3 MB is a good pick but you cannot Crossfire, there's no second PCIe 3.0 slot. The extreme 4 is a good $35ish more, but gives you this option down the track if you want it. I believe it also OCs a little better, but I'm no expert on that.
- I personally wouldn't spend this much on a PC without an SSD. doesn't really help for gaming, but just improves boot times and general system responsiveness massively. The 120GB Samsung 840 is a good buy, $99 from memory. It'd blow your budget though!
- I was going to suggest getting 1600 ram, but I couldn't find any that's much cheaper. Going faster doesn't really gain you anything for gaming, but if it's a good price... Why not!?
Nice build. All the best.
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April 13, 2013 10:09:19 AM

Thanks for the input! About the ssd, yeah i figured that i would just get one down the road but you are probably right since i'm building it now that i might as well put one in. I found it on newegg along with the power supply you mentioned. came in close to $1300 which is kinda more than i would be willing to spend. But i forgot to mention i only really plan on gaming at 1080p and am looking for a videocard to support that at 60 fps. So maybe the 7950 is a little overkill? I saw good reviews for the HiS IceQ 7870 ghz edition, for $240. Or should i save some money buy a regular 7870 and overclock it myself? Or even get a Nvidia 660 and overclock that? Sorry if i'm a pain in the butt i'm just having the hardest time deciding on a video card really. I wanna game at 1080p with 60 fps. Basically as long as it doesn't really go under 30 fps. Since i'm used to 30 fps with my ps3 :) . I've been a console gamer all my life and will continue to be but i am really starting to like gaming pc's as well.
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April 13, 2013 1:12:36 PM

As I see it you have two ways to approach this. You either build a rig now to get the absolute most out of current games, or you sacrifice a little now and choose parts that give you more upgrade options in future. The all out option a, best bang for buck now, would actually be the cheapest i5 (abandon OC), that cheaper XFX PSU, a cheap h77 or even b75 MB, ditch the CPU cooler and get the best GPU you can afford. All those savings would probably bring you into 7970 territory which would allow you to dial up the detail settings considerably. Problem is, upgrade is limited, you can't OC the CPU and it will start holding you back at some point in the future, and crossfire is out of the question (no MB support & PSU isn't up to it).
Option B - sacrifice a little now - go the the Extreme 4 MB, keep the 3570K, get the Seasonic 750W and drop to a cheaper GPU, like this 7870 bargain at $209 after rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Right now, you won't be able to crank the detail settings quite so high, but you can OC the CPU when you need to, keep it competitive for longer, and you have options to drop a second 7870 in down the track without spending $$ replacing anything else. If crossfire never becomes attractive, you could just upgrade the GPU in a couple of years time, it's a simple upgrade and the OC'd CPU wouldn't be holding you back like it could if you went option a.
I hope that makes sense? I'm tired and possibly rambling. I'd go option b myself, particularly with that bargain $210 7870. Either is a legit build though, just different priorities.
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