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~$1,000 Gaming Build Comparison, CPU or Graphics?

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May 8, 2013 6:59:48 PM

I have put together two builds, both about the same price. The first build has an i5 processor, but only a Radeon 7870. The second build has an FX-6350, but a Radeon 7950. I am just wondering which build is better, or if I can update a part and get an even better build without increasing the price much. Here are the links and builds:

Build 1 (i5 with Radeon 7870):
pcpartpicker link: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/W03k

Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: 1) OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
2) Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card
Case: Raidmax ATX-298WY ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer



Build 2 (FX-6350 with Radeon 7950):
pcpartpicker link: http://

Processor: AMD FX-6350 3.9GHz 6-Core
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: 1) OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
2) Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
Case: Raidmax ATX-298WY ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer



Everything, as you can see, is pretty much the same. That is because I am fairly confident those are the parts I want, but I am still up to any suggestions, and will answer any questions as to why I chose a part.

Lastly, I am only a first time builder so any explanations, suggestions, etc. will be very much appreciated!!!

Best solution

May 8, 2013 7:19:16 PM

It really all depends on the way you look at how you're gaming. If you want a more 'future proof' system where you will be able to obtain more performance because of more threading, go with the FX 6350/HD 7950. If you plan on playing games that are more reliant on single threads such as SC2 or Skyrim, the 3570k is for you. (Benchmarks show that the 8350 edges the 3570k out only slightly in high threading games such as Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3). Also, you won't see a performance boost from the 7870 LE Tahiti card and the 7950. If you do get a 6350, invest some cash into your case, because Raidmax cases tend to be somewhat cheaply made. You also want to DEFINITELY invest in a better cooler, for both builds. Getting something better than stock cooling is a must if you will be overclocking, which hopefully you will, otherwise there is 0 point to getting the 3570k.
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May 8, 2013 7:29:18 PM

I would propose this alternate build:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.16 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.19 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($238.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.55 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1049.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-08 22:26 EDT-0400)

While it is more expensive ($30 more than the Intel build you linked), it uses a case which is almost certainly superior (I haven't seen the 410 compared with that specific case, but it was picked as the best out of 15 mid-range cases Tom's reviewed), adds a CPU cooler, and uses more trustworthy brands for both GPU and PSU.
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May 8, 2013 7:35:15 PM

the i5 will kill the 6300 setup because you allocate your cash wrong on it. You don't need a 990FX chipset motherboard... the ASUS - M5A97 R2.0 is about all you need. Take the saved cash and get a solid cpu cooler. With the stock cooler you won't be overclocking that 6300 and the i5 will devour any difference in gpu you have.

only then would i say take the 6300. (an overclocked 7870xt will almost match a 7950 stock... but a 7950 overclocked will destroy a 7870xt, as overclocked it will match/best a stock 7970 and even if you're lucky beat a 670 overclocked)
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