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New i7 system--research done, need final opinions, please

Hi everyone,

I'm going to build a new system based on an i7 4770 (not K) sitting in an H87 motherboard alongside a dual-channel 16GB DDR3-1600 RAM kit, with a 4GB GTX 770 to make pretty pictures. :) I am not looking to overclock at all, because what I want more than anything is a stable and reliable system. I do a lot of video and photo editing with Adobe Elements and Lightroom (not professionally though) and I play RPG games like Skyrim and Dragon Age, but never FPSs.

Does all this sound OK so far?

I believe a 650W PSU will do for all this, but please correct me if I'm wrong. (The only other components going into the system will be a SoundBlaster X-Fi sound card and a BluRay burner, plus I’ll be connecting a bunch of peripherals like colorimeter, card reader, wireless USB adapter and scanner.)


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for your reply!

Cheers,

Dany
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  1. Best answer
    No, it seems like you have everything planned out. You know what you want, and why. Before you are completely set though, take a look at the prices and see if you can get a quality z87 board for what you are willing to pay for the h87 model. Reason being, you can most times find ddr3 1866mhz and 2133mhz CAS 9 for as cheap, or cheaper than equivalent 1600mhz sets. Right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231615&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID= is 115 dollars, which is quite a bit cheaper than any other 1600mhz set.
  2. If you are using only one monitor I do not see the need for 4GB of memory on your graphics card... 2 GB should be plenty for most cases, 3 if you have some reason you need more than 2.

    ( edit: ) But then again, you probs have your reasons...
  3. What Sword said. Otherwise everything seems well and dandy
  4. Swordkd said:
    No, it seems like you have everything planned out. You know what you want, and why. Before you are completely set though, take a look at the prices and see if you can get a quality z87 board for what you are willing to pay for the h87 model. Reason being, you can most times find ddr3 1866mhz and 2133mhz CAS 9 for as cheap, or cheaper than equivalent 1600mhz sets. Right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231615&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID= is 115 dollars, which is quite a bit cheaper than any other 1600mhz set.


    Thanks for getting back to me, Sword!

    I was indeed thinking of a Z87 m0b0 to begin with (it was my first choice after initial research), but then started to want to cut costs some, so H87 seemed to be the more logical choice. But I think I will take your advice and go the Z87 route, as it will probably future-proof the system a little better. (I'm still going to stick with the non-K 4770 though, and perhaps upgrade that to one of next year's LGA1150 CPUs.) I actually just found the ASUS Z87-PRO on sale for CAD$180 (I live in Canada), which is acceptable, especially since the RAM is so cheap. (I already asked a friend who lives in the US to grab the RAM kit you mentioned for me, and bring it when he comes up for Christmas.)

    All this considered, a 650W PSU is still OK?


    Thanks again!

    Dany
  5. thederpiest said:
    If you are using only one monitor I do not see the need for 4GB of memory on your graphics card... 2 GB should be plenty for most cases, 3 if you have some reason you need more than 2.

    ( edit: ) But then again, you probs have your reasons...


    Well, I read somewhere (wish I could still find the article) that extra video memory is good for video editing (especially where previews for 3D transition effects are concerned--I hate waiting for those things) as well as photo editing (though I don't see how that's possible). That was my primary reason for considering a 4GB card, but the prices don't make all that much sense (as can't find them on sale anymore.. tough I could wait for a Boxing Day sale (Dec. 26) and use the integrated GPU in the meantime).

    You are right in that I would never use more than one monitor for gaming--even if I do connect an additional monitors, I would only use it for toolbar docking. (AM I correct to assume that no extra memory is "required" if a second monitor is only there, but turned off, so the game is not actually displayed on it?) Last question: doesn't Skyrim's high-resolution texture pack require 4GB of video memory? (Maybe not when using a GTX 770 card?)


    Thx,

    Dany
  6. Yup 650 is more then enough for any single card solution and also since your not overclocking your CPU. But it also depends if your PSU is a quality one. Which one do you plan on getting?

    If you found that board for $180 thats a pretty good deal, the last time I saw it for $175 in Canada now its listed around $190ish
  7. danytancou said:
    Swordkd said:
    No, it seems like you have everything planned out. You know what you want, and why. Before you are completely set though, take a look at the prices and see if you can get a quality z87 board for what you are willing to pay for the h87 model. Reason being, you can most times find ddr3 1866mhz and 2133mhz CAS 9 for as cheap, or cheaper than equivalent 1600mhz sets. Right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231615&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID= is 115 dollars, which is quite a bit cheaper than any other 1600mhz set.


    Thanks for getting back to me, Sword!

    I was indeed thinking of a Z87 m0b0 to begin with (it was my first choice after initial research), but then started to want to cut costs some, so H87 seemed to be the more logical choice. But I think I will take your advice and go the Z87 route, as it will probably future-proof the system a little better. (I'm still going to stick with the non-K 4770 though, and perhaps upgrade that to one of next year's LGA1150 CPUs.) I actually just found the ASUS Z87-PRO on sale for CAD$180 (I live in Canada), which is acceptable, especially since the RAM is so cheap. (I already asked a friend who lives in the US to grab the RAM kit you mentioned for me, and bring it when he comes up for Christmas.)

    All this considered, a 650W PSU is still OK?


    Thanks again!

    Dany


    for editing 3d effects 4GB would not be that much better than 3GB...
    rendering on the other hand....

    I do not know anything about Skyrim, but I highly doubt that you would need 4GB of video card memory to run a texture pack...
    I should probably shut up though since I really do not know anything about Skyrim...
  8. sportfreak23 said:
    Yup 650 is more then enough for any single card solution and also since your not overclocking your CPU. But it also depends if your PSU is a quality one. Which one do you plan on getting?

    If you found that board for $180 thats a pretty good deal, the last time I saw it for $175 in Canada now its listed around $190ish




    Thanks, Sport! (What sport are you a freak for? For me it's rock climbing.. :)

    As for the PSU, CPU Magazine reviewed Corsair's RM series recently and they said it's pretty good, but I just looked and it seems expensive. Don't get me wrong: I don't skimp on PSUs, but I have an APC BackUPS 1300XS that regulates and properly modulates the power coming into the computer, so I don't need to go with an absolute top-of-the-line unit either. Looking around some more, I found the OCZ Fatal1ty 750W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341041).. any thoughts on this one? I figure I may as well go up to 750W, in case I DO want to overclock in the future (on the chance I end up with a 4770K after all. AAAAAAAARGH.. too much choice! :) Any suggestions?
  9. That Fatal1ty is actually a good unit. Generally, you'll want a SeaSonic, Xfx, Antec, Corsair(non-Cx or GS series), OCZ, Pc Power and Cooling Psu. The price jump from 650w to 750w usually isn't great, and sometimes it's less money for a good unit. Expect to pay about 80 dollars for a nicer unit though. Not top of the line, but something worth trusting your Pc power to.
  10. Well if you overclock both processor and gpu a 650W is more then enough. The only time I would consider going higher then that is if I want to do SLI or crossfire where you may need a 800w.

    As for your question about skryim high res package. My friend plays it I think he has a 670 2gb and I don't see the frames dropping below 50 much at all. So you should be fine even with a gtx 760 at 1080p. But if you want more futureproof a 770/7970/280x will be great.


    And I prefer crosscountry mountain biking as my hardcore sport :P otherwise for now since its too cold for that badminton :P haha
  11. Thanks again guys!

    I haven't decided on a PSU yet, but I will, soon, and I think I'll stick with a 650W, since I'll likely never go SLI. I did order a few of the components though! :) The 4770K went on sale last night at Amazon, and I just couldn't say no, for $330. I also got the RAM that Sword suggested and a Samsung 840 PRO 256GB SSD.

    So now I obviously need to step up to a Z87 m0b0. (Oh the HORROR, right? :) I'd like to go with ASUS, and I think the choice is between the PRO or the SABERTOOTH. I like the built-in WiFi feature on the PRO, but I wonder if the SABERTOOTH wouldn't be better in the long run, all things considered. Do you guys have an opinion on this? Do the SABERTOOTH's "Tough" features really make it better and offer extended life over others?

    (As I mentioned already, this machine is an investment for the next 3-4 years at least, and given the kind of stuff I will use it for, reliability is key.)

    Finally, regarding cooling for the CPU.. can I just stick with the cooler that comes in the box, or do I need to step that up too? I'm not going to do any crazy overclocking, but now that I have the option it'd be stupid not to push it some, but only with the standard options from the BIOS--at least I'm ASSUMING there is such a thing in the BIOS. I've never overclocked anything before, so I'm sure I'll be asking for advice. :)


    Cheers,

    D.
  12. The hyper 212 evo would be a nice step up from the stock cooler, and will support some mild overclocking too. After that, even Tom's agrees that the Noctua ND-U14s isn't a bad option for the next step up.

    For the motherboard, the Sabertooth isn't a bad board, but not worth the price premium for what it delivers. The Pro is a good board though with plenty of overclocking features, so that's what I'd suggest. You could save some money and go with a cheaper one too though, up to you.

    :edit: Right now the Pro is 170, while the Plus is another option at 159. For the extra 11 dollars though I'd stick with the Pro. The cheap option is the Z87-A, but for that price point I'd just get the AsRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer. It's gotten good reviews and has plenty of overclocking and semi-premium options on that board.
  13. Asus PRO is good sure. I have one too. But if you do not need wifi + bluetooth. Then gigabute UD3H is cheap and good choice.

    140$ http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87xud3h
    Asus PRO is now cheap. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-z87pro

    No need for sabertooth because there is just the plastic cover that keeps heat in side.

    Now there is nice XFX 850 good price.
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1850bbefx

    Rosewill lightning is good quality PSU but not a good deal now. 1000w is now 170$
    Near same price as the 800w.
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-lightning1000

    Good cheaper end cooler is Thermalrigt macho. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/thermalright-cpu-cooler-macho120
  14. I wouldn't buy the Rosewill Psu unless it's from the Hive series. The cheapest Psu right now that I'd recommend is the OCZ Zt 650w, fully modular for 70, but for 5 dollars more you can get an XFX 750w semi-modular silver certified 750w for 75 after MiR. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1750bnlg9
    That's the one I'd buy right now. No, really...buy it right now.

    I don't know much about the Thermalright cooler either.
  15. I'm a sucker for Phanteks coolers as I think they look pretty sick and come in a wide variety of colors instead of the Noctua. Maybe you can have a look at Phanteks PH-TC12DX series.

    As for motherboards, if you don't need the wifi, you could go with the z87 plus from asus, otherwise the PRO is decent, who wouldnt want a golden looking motherboard ;p
  16. Swordkd said:
    I wouldn't buy the Rosewill Psu unless it's from the Hive series. The cheapest Psu right now that I'd recommend is the OCZ Zt 650w, fully modular for 70, but for 5 dollars more you can get an XFX 750w semi-modular silver certified 750w for 75 after MiR. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1750bnlg9
    That's the one I'd buy right now. No, really...buy it right now.

    I don't know much about the Thermalright cooler either.


    You did post that PC cooling silencer is good? Super Flower makes PC cooling psu. Same as Rosewill.
    Here is review of cappstone. Read and learn :)
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Rosewill-CAPSTONE-550M-Power-Supply-Review/1584

    Here is review of Lightning.
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=258
  17. Swordkd said:
    The hyper 212 evo would be a nice step up from the stock cooler, and will support some mild overclocking too. After that, even Tom's agrees that the Noctua ND-U14s isn't a bad option for the next step up.


    Got it. So the stock cooler is OK, but it'd be best not to use it. I never used a Noctua CPU cooler but I love their case fans, so I'll probably end up with the one you suggested.

    Swordkd said:
    For the motherboard, the Sabertooth isn't a bad board, but not worth the price premium for what it delivers. The Pro is a good board though with plenty of overclocking features, so that's what I'd suggest. You could save some money and go with a cheaper one too though, up to you.

    :edit: Right now the Pro is 170, while the Plus is another option at 159. For the extra 11 dollars though I'd stick with the Pro. The cheap option is the Z87-A, but for that price point I'd just get the AsRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer. It's gotten good reviews and has plenty of overclocking and semi-premium options on that board.


    Yea, I figured the SABERTOOTH's "tuf" features were just a gimmick (except maybe for the extra thermal sensors--but I'm not going to do anything crazy with the system that would require that kind of precise (obsessive? :) ) temperature monitoring). It does look cool, but I'm putting all this into a windowless (Fractal Design Define R4) case, so looks are completely irrelevant to me.

    I am not looking for a "cheap" m0b0 (for previously-stated reasons) but everyone likes to save money.. So while I am no longer considering the SABERTOOTH, the PRO is still on my list, and now I'm also considering Gigabyte or MSI (have to look at their offerings), even though I've never used them before. Are they as reliable as ASUS?
  18. Thanks for the additional tips, guys! There's a plethora of PSUs out there, and as I said, I am sure I won't have any trouble picking a good one, based on everything above! :) I DO need the WiFi on the motherboard, that's why the PRO is my top choice.

    What do you all think about MSI's "MPOWER" boards (as none of their "* GAMING" or "G*" boards have WiFi)? Reviews on the 'Egg are quite mixed. Price-wise they're similar to the ASUS PRO, but they seem to include a good audio subsystem--better than the run-of-the-mill one that comes with everything else, which is important to me.)

    I saw your Gigabyte recommendation, but there's no WiFi so that's out. There's a lot of choice there, but the boards that I would be interested in are roughly the same price as the ASUS PRO.

    I guess all this just goes to show that once you get right down to it, everyone charges similarly for the same stuff/features. The only difference is that ASUS doesn't seem to tout their components as much as MSI or Gigabyte, so I can't help but wonder: is this because they are known for their reputation of good quality & reliable components and overall procucts (and so don't NEED to stick that in my face), or are they simply not as good as the others (so they downplay that by wrapping it under the "5X Protection" heading)? (Interestingly enough, ASUS only specifically mentions Japanese capacitors on their "TUF" m0b0s--which was my reason for looking at the SABERTOOTH in the first place.) Hmmm....
  19. If you need the wi-fi on the board, then stick with the Pro. It's a good board overall, and you won't have any complaints with it.
  20. Yea, I think that's what I'll do, unless the SABERTOOTH goes on some crazy sale somewhere (which I doubt). I read more reviews of MSI's MPOWER boards and it really looks like I should stay away from them; Gigabyte's gear also seems less-than-impressive, so ASUS it is! :)

    I'm going to keep this thread open though, just in case.
  21. Swordkd said:
    That Fatal1ty is actually a good unit. Generally, you'll want a SeaSonic, Xfx, Antec, Corsair(non-Cx or GS series), OCZ, Pc Power and Cooling Psu. The price jump from 650w to 750w usually isn't great, and sometimes it's less money for a good unit. Expect to pay about 80 dollars for a nicer unit though. Not top of the line, but something worth trusting your Pc power to.


    Hi again Sword,

    I'm finally trying to decide on the PSU, I found Antec's High Current Gamer 850W for CAD$100, which is $50 less than the 750W version, and the High Current Gamer 620W for CAD$70. I would go for the 620W, but I'm not sure if that's enough juice (considering that now I WILL most likely overclock both on the CPU and the GPU); I don't mind paying $100 for the 850W, but since I will never SLI, isn't that a bit of a waste (not in terms of money but in terms of efficiency)?

    EDIT: Also found a Corsair TX650M for CAD$65, and an HX650 for CAD$105. Better than any of the Antecs above?


    Thanks again,

    D.
  22. Right now, this isn't a bad deal for about the right amount of wattage for you.

    http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/pc-power--cooling-power-supply-ppcmk2s750 Silver certified, 750w from a good brand. The Antec 850w you listed earlier would do well too for about the same price.

    The OCZ Fatal1ty 750w Bronze certified, semi-modular is also 100 with a 20 dollar MiR too.

    If you buy an 850w Psu, and only use 500w's, you aren't wasting anything efficiency wise. Actually, Psu's are more efficient when drawing less than 50% of their load generally. I know in the states there was a really good deal on an XFX silver certified 850w modular Psu for about 100 US dollars, so if you can find that one on sale for CD's, I'd jump on it.
  23. Swordkd said:
    Right now, this isn't a bad deal for about the right amount of wattage for you.

    http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/pc-power--cooling-power-supply-ppcmk2s750 Silver certified, 750w from a good brand. The Antec 850w you listed earlier would do well too for about the same price.

    The OCZ Fatal1ty 750w Bronze certified, semi-modular is also 100 with a 20 dollar MiR too.

    If you buy an 850w Psu, and only use 500w's, you aren't wasting anything efficiency wise. Actually, Psu's are more efficient when drawing less than 50% of their load generally. I know in the states there was a really good deal on an XFX silver certified 850w modular Psu for about 100 US dollars, so if you can find that one on sale for CD's, I'd jump on it.



    Thanks once more. In the end, I decided to go with the Corsair HX650, as from all the reviews I read (about it and the others I was considering) it seemed the best bang for the buck.

    Also narrowed in (and mostly ordered) the parts now, which are as follows:

    - M0B0: ASUS GRYPHON (without the Armor Kit). I know that's different again than what I said before, but five years of warranty is better than three, and reliability with this board just seemed better. The form factor also suits me more, because I can stick to a smaller case. The audio system on the GRYPHON is not as good as on the PRO, but I'm planning to use a discreet sound card anyway, so that's not an issue. The power system on the GRYPHON is 8+2 phase as opposed to 12 phase--does that REALLY matter so much? Other than that, I'll just run an Ethernet cable to the box, so WiFi is not a big deal anymore.

    - CPU: i7 4770K

    - RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-1866C9D-16GXM

    - VIDEO CARD: still deciding which GTX 770 to get; definitely going the EVGA route, but still haven't made up my mind about the amount of RAM

    - SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

    - CASE: Fractal Design Define Mini + assorted Noctua PWM fans (PWM so as to take advantage of the PWM connections on the m0b0)

    I'm going to stay with the stock cooler for now, because I don't think I'm going to overclock for some time. I do have a quick question here though: since, this cooler's fan is parallel to the motherboard does it not make sense to mount the side panel fan for exhaust? Afaik, this fan is usually for intake (and that's how I have it in my current workstation, but the coolers on my processors there are perpendicular to the motherboard there), but in this case, that doesn't seem right. (Of course, if this is a question for another forum I'll be happy to take it there. :)

    And I guess, I'll need some kind of an optical drive, but I'm not too worried about that for now.


    Any final thougths? :)
  24. No, everything there is fairly solid. I like the Gryphon, and it's gotten good reviews too. I wouldn't worry about which direction the side fan is blowing, usually it is an intake to give the video card some fresh air. You don't really have to worry about cooling the VRM's since you aren't going to overclock anyways for now.

    The 12 phase design is better, but I wouldn't worry about it much over the 8+2. With a smaller case, and plenty of intake/exhaust fans anyways you'll have good air flow and heat shouldn't be an issue.
  25. Awesome. Thanks so much man! Really appreciate all the advice.. this place is awesome! :)

    Everything is ordered now and should be arriving shortly, except for a couple of case fans which I can do without until next weekend when I'll get them, and the video card--for which I am hoping to find a good Boxing Day deal. *fingers crossed*

    One awesome thing that happened today was that I found a Corsair H80i cooler for $50 in a computer shop that just opened close to my work. They must have made a mistake in pricing (there's no WAY that thing is that cheap--I looked!) but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity so I got it, and now I'm debating whether to install it or keep it in the box and maybe sell it on craiglist or something. :) My cooler of choice so far was the Noctua NH-U12S, as I never thought I would run a water cooler, but now that I got this one, I wonder if I shouldn't just keep and use it. I know the Noctua performs better but even when I do overclock, I'm not going to push limits or anything, so given all this, I think the H80i will serve me well, no? I haven't read anywhere that using a watercooler is in any way BAD if one DOESN'T overclock, so I can only assume that that's not an issue. (And I prefer to complete the build from the start, instead of having to mess around with it later, especially where the CPU cooler is concerned.) Any thoughts on that? :)


    D.
  26. Nah, I'd use the h80i and return the NH-u12s. Nice buy though!
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