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New build advice ($1100 CAD) - GXT 660 vs HD 7950

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June 3, 2013 2:15:14 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: next 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: $950-1100 CAD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: coding, heavy single-threaded applications, gaming, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: new build

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.ca, amazon.ca

Location: Ontario, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, no preferences for GPU

Overclocking: Maybe (I did it once long ago with my Athlon XP 2500+, and not sure whether it’s more complicated nowadays)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1200

Additional Comments: I plan to use it mainly for coding (Visual Studio) as well as running a specific single-threaded application. However, I want to play MechWarrior Online (built on CryEngine 3, the game is in Open beta now), StarCraft 2, Diablo 3 at high settings on a 1920 x 1200 resolution. My friends told me a lot about Battlefield 4 so I’d like to try it too (when it’s available).

The main problem for me is GPU. I’ve read Tom’s guide on GPU of the month and cannot decide between GTX 660 ($200) and $100 more expensive Radeon 7950 (~$300). I understand that these cards have different performance, but is it worth spending $100 more for 7950? (I don’t plan to do any upgrades in the next couple years.)

What is the best vendor for a MOBO? I heard good stuff about Gigabyte, and not good things about recent ASUS MOBOs. Many posts here recommend AsRock MOBOs, is there any particular reason why? Are they reliable?

I'd like to have as quite as possible PC (at this budget).

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: my laptop cannot handle a game (MWO) I want to play

Here is what I came up with:

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12B2Y

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Intel 62205ANHMWDTX1 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($48.45 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($48.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.00 @ Vuugo)

Video Card: (???) Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($192.00 @ Vuugo)

Total: $942.28

Sorry for a long post :) 

Thank you all for your time and feedback,

Alex
June 3, 2013 2:32:43 PM

You should consider the i7 for enhanced rendering speeds. Also, there is a possibility that the GTX 760 Ti will be released by the time you get around to building the PC.
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Best solution

June 3, 2013 3:17:03 PM

I can't comment on what slomo4sho said regarding the i7 (gaming is my area of specialization), but he's definitely right that you should keep your eyes open for the 760 Ti.

However, you don't need to choose between meeting budget and the 7950, if you're unsure about/don't want to overclock:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX)
Wireless Network Adapter: Intel 62205ANHMWDTX1 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($48.45 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.00 @ Vuugo)
Total: $940.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 18:13 EDT-0400)

However, if you don't plan on any upgrades in the next two-three years, it might well be worth the investment to bump your GPU up to a 7970 GHz Edition or a GTX 770, and overclocking would have increased merit.
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June 3, 2013 6:10:51 PM

Jack Revenant said:

However, you don't need to choose between meeting budget and the 7950, if you're unsure about/don't want to overclock:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX)
Wireless Network Adapter: Intel 62205ANHMWDTX1 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($48.45 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.00 @ Vuugo)
Total: $940.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 18:13 EDT-0400)

However, if you don't plan on any upgrades in the next two-three years, it might well be worth the investment to bump your GPU up to a 7970 GHz Edition or a GTX 770, and overclocking would have increased merit.


Thanks for a good idea, I didn't think about going with non-k version of CPU. Is i5 enough for 7970 and GTX 770? Some people here talk about OC the GPU. Will I need a Z87 motherboard if I decide to OC my video card?
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June 3, 2013 8:07:56 PM

tvister said:
Jack Revenant said:

However, you don't need to choose between meeting budget and the 7950, if you're unsure about/don't want to overclock:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX)
Wireless Network Adapter: Intel 62205ANHMWDTX1 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($48.45 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.00 @ Vuugo)
Total: $940.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 18:13 EDT-0400)

However, if you don't plan on any upgrades in the next two-three years, it might well be worth the investment to bump your GPU up to a 7970 GHz Edition or a GTX 770, and overclocking would have increased merit.


Thanks for a good idea, I didn't think about going with non-k version of CPU. Is i5 enough for 7970 and GTX 770? Some people here talk about OC the GPU. Will I need a Z87 motherboard if I decide to OC my video card?


An i5-4670 is more than enough for a 7970 or a 770.
You won't need a Z-series motherboard to OC your GPU, though you'd want to get a non-voltage locked GPU if you were planning to overclock.
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June 5, 2013 3:34:12 PM

slomo4sho said:




slomo4sho, thanks for the info!
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