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New homebuilt gamer, "budget 7970 system"

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January 17, 2012 1:01:29 PM

Hey there, so I finally scrapped some money together for a new gamer build. I got monitor,keyboard,windows etc, just need the computer itself.

This is what I came up with. NOTE: I am already streching my budget, so if you recommened changes, they have to be cheap.

i5 2500K / 3.3 GHz - LGA1155
Gigabyte GA-Z68P-DS3 (rev. 1.0) - ATX - LGA1155 Socket
MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5 - Graphics - Radeon HD 7970
Corsair Carbide Series 500R - Miditower - ATX
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
HD Caviar Blue/500GB SATA 6GB 3.5
Corsair DDR3 PC1600 8GB CL9 kit VENGEANCE
Sony Optiarc AD-7283S - Disk drev - DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD

Is it a good case? I just had it recommended and think it looks decent enough. I would like a case with good cooling, quiet if possible, has to be able to fit 7970, easy for first time user to work with. ¨

And what do you think of the system overall?
January 17, 2012 1:12:49 PM

The 500R is wonderful.

The entire build looks wonderful - except the motherboard - go for a P8Z68-V-PRO (or don't listen to me because If I had my way I would let ASUS recreate the universe)
Seriously though, nice build, I just think the mobo is as bit weak, spend a little more on it, remember, it houses all your components, dictated if they can work, how well they can work, how far you can push them and how reliable they will be.
January 17, 2012 1:17:23 PM

I had it on my first setup the P8Z68-V-PRO. But it is almost the price difference between the 580 gtx and the 7970. Dont think I can afford it :( 
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January 17, 2012 1:22:04 PM

Also I heard the 7970 is a pretty good overclocker, I dont play to push it to the max or anything, but Id like to OC it maybe 15% or so, would it be possible with this setup? with the mobo I have picked so far etc?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 1:32:09 PM

MSi Z68A_GD80 B3 is a good mobo but if you can afford those more expensive mobo then sure be it, but this MSi mobo is good in it's own
January 17, 2012 1:33:18 PM

I'll be honest, I wouldn't like to cut corners on the Motherboard - On the basis that you need to save a bit of dosh and remain in the high quality range I suggest the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3. Its had pretty much perfect reveiws allround
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 1:34:40 PM

I'd consider the AS Rock Pro3 Gen 3 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), currently on sale for $98.99 on newegg w/ promo code, its ready for crossfire (if you ever feel the need), is a great overclocker, and has the PCIe 3.0 interface.

a little more than the Gigabyte, but not very much
January 17, 2012 1:36:12 PM

Is there a big difference between the asrock extreme 3gen3 and 4 gen 3? I could probably squeeze in the 3gen3, but that is really is over my budget, for the 4gen3, i would have to change something else to make the built cheaper.
January 17, 2012 1:37:15 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
I'd consider the AS Rock Pro3 Gen 3 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), currently on sale for $98.99 on newegg w/ promo code, its ready for crossfire (if you ever feel the need), is a great overclocker, and has the PCIe 3.0 interface.

a little more than the Gigabyte, but not very much


I can afford that for sure. Would it support 7970 sli in the future if I need?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 1:38:18 PM

big difference no, just 2 more sata3 and 2 more usb3 ports. go for extreme3
January 17, 2012 1:39:45 PM

vx53c said:
big difference no, just 2 more sata3 and 2 more usb3 ports. go for extreme3


And the extreme 3gen3 compared to the AS Rock Pro3 gen 3?

As rock is a fair amount cheaper, what do you think?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 2:21:39 PM

The extreme3 doesn't have internal usb 3.0 headers, which depending on how you see it, might or might not be a big deal. For me it was a insta-killer for the budget board.
January 17, 2012 2:31:00 PM

a4mula said:
The extreme3 doesn't have internal usb 3.0 headers, which depending on how you see it, might or might not be a big deal. For me it was a insta-killer for the budget board.


Hmm okay, still not decided depends on my final budget too, but thanks for the answers so far.
January 17, 2012 2:41:23 PM

mfj1985 said:
Also I heard the 7970 is a pretty good overclocker, I dont play to push it to the max or anything, but Id like to OC it maybe 15% or so, would it be possible with this setup? with the mobo I have picked so far etc?


Chances are you'll be able to overclock it from 925 / 1375 to 1125 / 1575 right out of the box, with very little heat increases, or very close to it, mine OC'd easily using stock voltages and overdrive.
January 17, 2012 2:47:18 PM

Okay, after looking at some reviews and ur comments I came up with one of the following 2 builds. Roughly cost the same.


Intel Core i5 2500K / 3.3 GHz - LGA1155 Socket
Asus P8Z68-V PRO DDR3 SLI/CFX DVI VGA HDMI
2 X MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC - Graphics - SLI
Corsair Carbide Series 500R - Miditower
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 - PSU
HD Caviar Blue/500GB SATA 6GB 3.5
Corsair DDR3 PC1600 8GB CL9 kit VENGEANCE
Sony Optiarc AD-7283S - Disk drev - DVD±RW (±R DL) DVD

vs

i5 2500K / 3.3 GHz - LGA1155
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3
MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5 - Graphics - Radeon HD 7970
Corsair Carbide Series 500R - Miditower - ATX
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
HD Caviar Blue/500GB SATA 6GB 3.5
Corsair DDR3 PC1600 8GB CL9 kit VENGEANCE
Sony Optiarc AD-7283S - Disk drev - DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD
January 17, 2012 2:58:26 PM

mfj1985 said:
Hmm okay, still not decided depends on my final budget too, but thanks for the answers so far.


You seem to be on the fence about buying either a cheaper z68 or a better z68 board. Have you considered P67? The only differences is z68 supports SSD caching (which sucks compared to a discrete SSD anyway) and support for Ivy Bridge. You are going with a 2500k in a gaming box - you will have no need for Ivy Bridge. If the price is right, a quality P67 board will be better for you than a cheap z68 board. That's my advice.
January 17, 2012 3:16:06 PM

larkspur said:
You seem to be on the fence about buying either a cheaper z68 or a better z68 board. Have you considered P67? The only differences is z68 supports SSD caching (which sucks compared to a discrete SSD anyway) and support for Ivy Bridge. You are going with a 2500k in a gaming box - you will have no need for Ivy Bridge. If the price is right, a quality P67 board will be better for you than a cheap z68 board. That's my advice.


Thanks for the info, I might get one of those instead, ill look in to it.

What about the 2 builts?
January 17, 2012 3:29:34 PM

mfj1985 said:
Thanks for the info, I might get one of those instead, ill look in to it.

What about the 2 builts?


I prefer the build with the single 7970. 2 x 560ti is very powerful, no doubt, but it'll probably make your comp louder than the single 7970.

I haven't SLI'ed since the NVIDIA 9xxx series but have XFired through the last three years. Mostly it's great. But some games are finicky with XFire and some games launch without XFire driver support (like SW:TOR) which means you get the performance of a single card until they release the driver support. All in all, I prefer single, very powerful cards over SLI/XFire of lesser cards to reduce these potential annoyances.
January 17, 2012 3:38:00 PM

larkspur said:
I prefer the build with the single 7970. 2 x 560ti is very powerful, no doubt, but it'll probably make your comp louder than the single 7970.

I haven't SLI'ed since the NVIDIA 9xxx series but have XFired through the last three years. Mostly it's great. But some games are finicky with XFire and some games launch without XFire driver support (like SW:TOR) which means you get the performance of a single card until they release the driver support. All in all, I prefer single, very powerful cards over SLI/XFire of lesser cards to reduce these potential annoyances.


Ill stick to the 7970, thanks.
January 17, 2012 4:00:38 PM

Oh a few more questions.

Is the 650W bronze enough if I want to OC the 7970?

And does any of these mobos we have talked about have wifi? else I need to buy a wifi network card too, and if that is the case can u suggest any specific for gaming?
January 17, 2012 4:31:10 PM

mfj1985 said:
Oh a few more questions.

Is the 650W bronze enough if I want to OC the 7970?


Yes. The stock reference 7970 requires one 8-pin and one 6-pin connector with a minimum 500w PSU. Power draw in bf3: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benc...

Not sure about wifi cards, I've used the usb adapters before with success but never tried a card. I'm pretty sure there are motherboards with wifi built-in but it's generally out of my focus.
January 17, 2012 4:34:59 PM

Ok, gonna stick with the 650W unless I buy a sli/xfire mobo. And those usb adapters are fine for gaming?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 4:49:25 PM

stay away from the pro3!
it has 4+2 phases as far as i know. It means troubles with overclocking. The asus is awesome and the gen3 version has 12 phases but it won't make a difference while the price is so steep. I can vouch for extreme3 gen3 for 5ghz on air and less than 1.35vcore which is so much more than you should OC on air.
January 17, 2012 4:50:16 PM

mfj1985 said:
And those usb adapters are fine for gaming?


I've really only used them casually on older systems so I couldn't really say. It seems from looking around Tom's forums that people suggest a brand name PCI wifi card over a USB wifi adapter. Someone with more experience might chime in, or you could start a specific thread on that topic.
January 17, 2012 4:51:22 PM

Okay thanks again for the answer, ill look around abit for prices and performance reviews.
!