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First time Gaming pc build. Need general advice about it and criticism

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May 22, 2013 8:35:51 PM

Hello.

I've been picking and choosing parts for a gaming pc for about 2-3 months now.

I would like to know your opinion on the build. Here is my current build Not completely final. That's why I'm here.

I'd like to know if there's any changes I should make to it. Are all the parts good? Just general criticisms of it and what I should swap/change and ratings of it.


Any ways to cut cost without cutting performance/better performance for less cost?

Thank you for your time.
May 22, 2013 8:40:01 PM

Forgot to add.

The reason the psu is so big is because I plan to crossfire in the future.

Or, should I get a smaller one and buy a bigger psu when I get the other card?

I'm not sure when exactly I'd be getting a second card. It definitely wouldn't be any time soon.
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 8:45:57 PM

You can save around $100+ with these parts. I didn't change the case since I'm assuming you really want that one, but if you don't, there are slightly cheaper options

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($61.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($403.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1145.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-22 23:44 EDT-0400)

EDIT: Since you have some crossfire plan at a later time, 750W should be a good start. There's also the TX750 if the HX series is a bit too expensive. To be honest, your choice are already good overall, but not everyone would recommend the same (people's preferences differ)
Related resources
May 22, 2013 8:58:09 PM

EzioAs said:
You can save around $100+ with these parts. I didn't change the case since I'm assuming you really want that one, but if you don't, there are slightly cheaper options

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($61.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($403.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1145.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-22 23:44 EDT-0400)

EDIT: Since you have some crossfire plan at a later time, 750W should be a good start. There's also the TX750 if the HX series is a bit too expensive. To be honest, your choice are already good overall, but not everyone would recommend the same (people's preferences differ)



Would the psu you picked be able to handle crossfired 7970s?

Sorry for the question but I'm pretty new to this stuff.
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:04:54 PM

This may appear more of a shock than anything but I'll explain.

1. The UD3H motherboard is currently cheaper and it has better build quality than the Extreme4. It is also a beast at overclocking.
2. Chose a similar low-profile RAM that will fit well with the CPU Cooler and also works great at overclocking. Also a tad cheaper.
3. Upped the SSD to a Samsung Pro 840.
4. The biggest shocker -- a GTX 670 instead of a HD 7970. The Sapphire Vapor-X that you had for the 7970 is almost $100 more than an average HD 7970. At that price, I would personally pay an extra $40 more for a HD 7970 GHz edition. I could've went for a good HD 7950 for the free games. Also worth it if you want to go that route. nvidia cards do have better refined graphics. And SLI is better than CrossFireX right now. The 750W PSU is sufficient for a SLI GTX 670. Not saying the HD 7970 is bad, but the Sapphire Vapor-X version was far too expensive. Options are: Sapphire Dual-X Radeon HD 7970, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950, Asus GeForce GTX 670, etc.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($222.22 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($130.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1174.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:15:43 PM

ksham said:
4. The biggest shocker -- a GTX 670 instead of a HD 7970. The Sapphire Vapor-X that you had for the 7970 is almost $100 more than an average HD 7970. At that price, I would personally pay an extra $40 more for a HD 7970 GHz edition. I could've went for a good HD 7950 for the free games. Also worth it if you want to go that route. nvidia cards do have better refined graphics. And SLI is better than CrossFireX right now. The 750W PSU is sufficient for a SLI GTX 670. Not saying the HD 7970 is bad, but the Sapphire Vapor-X version was far too expensive. Options are: Sapphire Dual-X Radeon HD 7970, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950, Asus GeForce GTX 670, etc.


The Radeon HD7970 he picked at $420 isn't $100 more than the retail price of any HD7970. There are cheaper options like MSI 7970 Twin Frozr which is around $400 (which I would prefer over the Sapphire ones) and reference design card at around $380 but none of them are $100 less. You're exaggerating.

GTX670 is a good choice too though.

@O Possum

I didn't really look at it, but I'm not sure about the Extreme4 supporting Crossfire or not. Since you are planning to crossfire later, that should be one of the top features you should look for your motherboard.
May 22, 2013 9:19:47 PM

ksham said:
This may appear more of a shock than anything but I'll explain.

1. The UD3H motherboard is currently cheaper and it has better build quality than the Extreme4. It is also a beast at overclocking.
2. Chose a similar low-profile RAM that will fit well with the CPU Cooler and also works great at overclocking. Also a tad cheaper.
3. Upped the SSD to a Samsung Pro 840.
4. The biggest shocker -- a GTX 670 instead of a HD 7970. The Sapphire Vapor-X that you had for the 7970 is almost $100 more than an average HD 7970. At that price, I would personally pay an extra $40 more for a HD 7970 GHz edition. I could've went for a good HD 7950 for the free games. Also worth it if you want to go that route. nvidia cards do have better refined graphics. And SLI is better than CrossFireX right now. The 750W PSU is sufficient for a SLI GTX 670. Not saying the HD 7970 is bad, but the Sapphire Vapor-X version was far too expensive. Options are: Sapphire Dual-X Radeon HD 7970, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950, Asus GeForce GTX 670, etc.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($222.22 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($130.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1174.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


I did not have the vapor x model selected. I had just a Normal sapphire 7970 selected.

Thank you for you input but I personally believe the 7970 to be a better card all around. However. Like I said in the OP this build is by no means finalized. I may change it completely once the 700s series rolls around. I may not. Time can only tell.

Also, forgive my ignorance of the subject but aren't crossfired 7970's pretty much one of the strongest builds you can get at the moment?

And could you please define what 'more refined graphics' means? Like I said. I'm pretty new to all this and am trying to learn as much as possible.
May 22, 2013 9:26:58 PM

EzioAs said:
ksham said:
4. The biggest shocker -- a GTX 670 instead of a HD 7970. The Sapphire Vapor-X that you had for the 7970 is almost $100 more than an average HD 7970. At that price, I would personally pay an extra $40 more for a HD 7970 GHz edition. I could've went for a good HD 7950 for the free games. Also worth it if you want to go that route. nvidia cards do have better refined graphics. And SLI is better than CrossFireX right now. The 750W PSU is sufficient for a SLI GTX 670. Not saying the HD 7970 is bad, but the Sapphire Vapor-X version was far too expensive. Options are: Sapphire Dual-X Radeon HD 7970, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz, Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950, Asus GeForce GTX 670, etc.


The Radeon HD7970 he picked at $420 isn't $100 more than the retail price of any HD7970. There are cheaper options like MSI 7970 Twin Frozr which is around $400 (which I would prefer over the Sapphire ones) and reference design card at around $380 but none of them are $100 less. You're exaggerating.

GTX670 is a good choice too though.

@O Possum

I didn't really look at it, but I'm not sure about the Extreme4 supporting Crossfire or not. Since you are planning to crossfire later, that should be one of the top features you should look for your motherboard.


Are there any big differences between the msi and sapphire 7970s?

I hear the twin frozr fans are really good. is that true?

I just picked the sapphire because it had a lot more reviews so I assumed it was better. Comparing them on newegg shows that the msi is a bit better. But they are probably the same after you overclock them. At least that's my guess.


a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:34:08 PM

3D performance doesn't matter much because they'll likely end up having between 3-5% difference due to the different clock speeds. I know that Sapphire cards have good cooling but I can personally vouch for MSI Twin Frozr III cooler which cools great and is very quiet (until 60-70% fan speed). Any of those 2 would be good to be honest. And yes, overclocking any of those cards can bring some extra performance but overclocking varies between cards, so don't get your hopes too high (although it seems like most 7970 can hit 1170MHz on the GPU pretty easy). Oh, and there's no such thing as "refined graphics" between the cards.
May 22, 2013 9:35:54 PM

EzioAs said:
3D performance doesn't matter much because they'll likely end up having between 3-5% difference due to the different clock speeds. I know that Sapphire cards have good cooling but I can personally vouch for MSI Twin Frozr III cooler which cools great and is very quiet (until 60-70% fan speed). Any of those 2 would be good to be honest. And yes, overclocking any of those cards can bring some extra performance but overclocking varies between cards, so don't get your hopes too high (although it seems like most 7970 can hit 1170MHz on the GPU pretty easy). Oh, and there's no such thing as "refined graphics" between the cards.


Just so I know for sure we're talking about This card right?

a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:36:46 PM

Yes
May 22, 2013 9:39:30 PM

Your build is fine
Low profile,cheaper ram,like Crucial.
Vertex 4 is faster
the cheaper msi suggested build doesn't crossfire, something to consider.Extreme 4 does. Also the MSI boost edition was playing at low prices,beast card,as is Vapor X ,also beast.
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:55:58 PM

EzioAs said:

The Radeon HD7970 he picked at $420 isn't $100 more than the retail price of any HD7970. There are cheaper options like MSI 7970 Twin Frozr which is around $400 (which I would prefer over the Sapphire ones) and reference design card at around $380 but none of them are $100 less. You're exaggerating.


O Possum said:

I did not have the vapor x model selected. I had just a Normal sapphire 7970 selected.

My mistake. I stand corrected. When I opened the link on PCPartPicker and onto Newegg, it was the Vapor-X version. Must be my poor oversight.


O Possum said:

Thank you for you input but I personally believe the 7970 to be a better card all around.

It is.


O Possum said:

Also, forgive my ignorance of the subject but aren't crossfired 7970's pretty much one of the strongest builds you can get at the moment?

No. CrossFireX currently has driver issues. AMD is working on fixing it and hopefully it should be out soon.


O Possum said:

And could you please define what 'more refined graphics' means? Like I said. I'm pretty new to all this and am trying to learn as much as possible.


EzioAs said:
Oh, and there's no such thing as "refined graphics" between the cards.

There is. The AMD Radeon cards are more powerful than the nvidia GeForce cards. By "more powerful", I mean in terms of raw power. But the nvidia GeForce cards have better refined graphics. By refined graphics, I mean that the nvidia cards are smoother in gameplay. But it could be that they have better drivers and vsync.
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 9:59:13 PM

I'd say it's good since you were planning for a slightly cheaper build but without cutting performance. Btw, Amazon has the XFX Pro Series 750W at $105, slightly cheaper than the Corsair HX750 (semi-modular and 80+ silver as well).
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 10:05:25 PM

ksham said:
EzioAs said:
Oh, and there's no such thing as "refined graphics" between the cards.

There is. The AMD Radeon cards are more powerful than the nvidia GeForce cards. By "more powerful", I mean in terms of raw power. But the nvidia GeForce cards have better refined graphics. By refined graphics, I mean that the nvidia cards are smoother in gameplay. But it could be that they have better drivers and vsync.


Are you talking about the frame times/latency? The issue has been addressed and AMD is working on improving it (as you said), plus the issue isn't so bad on a single GPU solution and doesn't apply to all games. So it's not exactly refined graphics per say, but I do see your point.
May 22, 2013 10:09:38 PM

On your power supply question
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine says 542W crossfire

http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index... says 907W



A 650W psu might be able to do Crossfire. But if I was you and worried about having enough power for crossfire I'd just get a 1000W power supply from Seasonic (X series) or Corsair (HX or AX series) and stop worrying about it.

And unless you are attached to that Define R4, I would get something with more airflow to cool down a crossfire setup.
I would look at a NZXT Phantom 630, or something else from NZXT, or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.nzxt.com/
Cooler Master Storm Trooper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or the white one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get low profile ram. Like this corsair stuff so you don't have problem with cpu cooler fitment.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For SSDs get a Samsung 840 pro or a Crucial M500. A Crucial M500 480GB SATA 2.5" is what i would choose if I was buying an SSD right now, it is $394.99.

On the graphics card. I would get a 7950 or a 7970. I like my Vapor-X 7950, it play all my games (Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Team Fortress 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic) very well. The Sapphire 7970 you chose will serve you very well. Watch for sales and be ready to buy it, when on sale they go quickly. Other 7950 and 7970 brands I would consider would be Msi and Asus.

Lastly if you chose a case that has the option to mount more case fans, do it and fill up all slots. Doing so will make your components run cooler and last longer. Get your case fans from NCIX because they usually have them for cheaper than elsewhere. If you want quiet case fans that are reliable go with Noctua fans.

Where to buy fans
http://us.ncix.com/products/index.php?minorcatid=1164



To Ksham. The OP never picked the 7970 vapor x. He picked the dual x
SAPPHIRE 100351SR Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC with Boost
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 10:18:11 PM

fixer762 said:
On your power supply question
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine says 542W crossfire

http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index... says 907W



A 650W psu might be able to do Crossfire. But if I was you and worried about having enough power for crossfire I'd just get a 1000W power supply from Seasonic (X series) or Corsair (HX or AX series) and stop worrying about it.


Dual 7970 uses around 620-690W under load (depending).



and that is measured straight from the wall (AC power is higher than DC power), not what the computer is actually pulling from the psu. 750W is enough. 1000W is overkill
a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 10:22:13 PM

EzioAs said:

Are you talking about the frame times/latency? The issue has been addressed and AMD is working on improving it (as you said), plus the issue isn't so bad on a single GPU solution and doesn't apply to all games. So it's not exactly refined graphics per say, but I do see your point.

Yeah, less tearing on screen. The nvidia GeForce cards may not appear smoother than AMD Radeon in all games, but more games currently favor nvidia cards than Radeon cards. I know Skyrim does particularly well on Radeon. But in higher resolution, the Radeon cards would be better as they tend to have higher VRAM. Combined with its pure overclocking potential, it definitely can work really well once AMD fix their driver issues. But you know, I can only call it like it is at the present time. Don't know what the future will hold. I am very excited about the upcoming new cards.


fixer762 said:

To Ksham. The OP never picked the 7970 vapor x. He picked the dual x
SAPPHIRE 100351SR Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC with Boost
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yes; I've noted my mistake. My apologies to OP.
May 22, 2013 10:26:34 PM

Vengeance LP and your good.
May 23, 2013 9:29:33 AM

fixer762 said:
On your power supply question
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine says 542W crossfire

http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index... says 907W



A 650W psu might be able to do Crossfire. But if I was you and worried about having enough power for crossfire I'd just get a 1000W power supply from Seasonic (X series) or Corsair (HX or AX series) and stop worrying about it.

And unless you are attached to that Define R4, I would get something with more airflow to cool down a crossfire setup.
I would look at a NZXT Phantom 630, or something else from NZXT, or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.nzxt.com/
Cooler Master Storm Trooper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or the white one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get low profile ram. Like this corsair stuff so you don't have problem with cpu cooler fitment.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For SSDs get a Samsung 840 pro or a Crucial M500. A Crucial M500 480GB SATA 2.5" is what i would choose if I was buying an SSD right now, it is $394.99.

On the graphics card. I would get a 7950 or a 7970. I like my Vapor-X 7950, it play all my games (Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Team Fortress 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic) very well. The Sapphire 7970 you chose will serve you very well. Watch for sales and be ready to buy it, when on sale they go quickly. Other 7950 and 7970 brands I would consider would be Msi and Asus.

Lastly if you chose a case that has the option to mount more case fans, do it and fill up all slots. Doing so will make your components run cooler and last longer. Get your case fans from NCIX because they usually have them for cheaper than elsewhere. If you want quiet case fans that are reliable go with Noctua fans.

Where to buy fans
http://us.ncix.com/products/index.php?minorcatid=1164



To Ksham. The OP never picked the 7970 vapor x. He picked the dual x
SAPPHIRE 100351SR Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC with Boost
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I really don't need that much ssd storage. I only plan on installing my operating system and maybe a game or two.

Also is the phantom better for aircooling? I like the white phantom 410 and the r4 but I want to have the best cooling.
a b 4 Gaming
May 23, 2013 9:33:38 AM

In terms of cooling, I think the Phantom 410 has a very slight edge. The Fractal Design Define R4 is quieter. My vote goes to the R4 though.
May 23, 2013 10:02:06 AM

Go the Phantom 410 if you like it more. You can always make it quiet with quiet fans.
May 23, 2013 11:07:50 AM

Case doors aren't for me,but the R4 is very good
May 23, 2013 1:56:01 PM

allanitomwesh said:
Case doors aren't for me,but the R4 is very good


How is it's cooling? Would I be fine with the stock fans that come with the case or should I get extra/replace them all with different ones?

I plan on getting one 120mm fan with blue leds because can't have a gaming rig without at least a little rice.

(plus blue is a really calming color for me and I liked it a lot)
May 23, 2013 9:15:55 PM

The default fans work fine unless you really want to nitpick. There's enough mounts for more fans, you could put it up top as a eject fan and get a good glow.
!