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~$1600 Gaming PC (IB/Kepler Build) Questions (first time builder)

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February 29, 2012 4:42:45 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: May 2012
Budget Range: $1400-$1800+ (flexible)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (specifically TERA Online, Diablo III)
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon.com (see additional comments)
Country: Honolulu, HI, USA
Parts Preferences: N/A
Overclocking: Yes (conservative/light)
SLI or Crossfire: Initially no, but would like to have the option in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (may consider adding a second 1920x1080 monitor in the future)
Additional Comments: Shipping costs to Hawaii are excluded by most sites that offer free shipping (including Newegg, TigersDirect, etc. Amazon is one of the few sites that provides free shipping to Hawaii, but I would consider any reputable retailer with free shipping (or price+shipping is cheaper than Amazon).

Processor: Intel i5 3570K
CPU Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 (already bought)
PSU: Corsair HX850
GPU: nVidia GTX 670 Ti
HDD: WD 1.5 TB Caviar Black 7200RPM
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
Case: Corsair 650D
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST

Hey guys, this might be a bit early, but I've spent a lot of time researching and picking out components for my first build in a few months and I had a few questions for the community.

First off, various games and watching hi-def movies are about the only demanding applications this PC will be subjected to, but I would like to be able to run new and upcoming games on max settings at 1920x1080 as long as possible. My budget is flexible but not limitless, so I'm trying to choose components that will give me the best performance available at palatable price/performance ratios. As a first time builder, I'm extra concerned about ease of setup, reliability, and support, so I'm willing to spend a bit more than I strictly need to to go with reputable/reliable components over budget ones.

Onto my questions:

I'm waiting on Ivy Bridge and Kepler releases that are allegedly scheduled for April, but I don't know what to expect with these product releases. How long after these respective releases can I reasonably expect to get my hands on the products at normal prices? i.e. are brand new CPUs/GPUs typically available to normal consumers right after release, or available only at inflated prices, or not actually available until later? On the topic of new GPU releases, does it take extra time for distributors (i.e. EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) to actually put out cards to the consumer, or can I expect them to be readily available immediately/shortly after release?

Depending on the answers to the questions above, is it even worth it to wait? With the ambiguously worded IB delays and lack of information regarding Kepler release, I have seriously considered just pulling the trigger with an i5 2500K and GTX 570 (or 560 Ti 448 Cores). I have a serviceable laptop that can run games at lower resolutions and low graphical settings, so it won't be killing me to wait, but I'd still like my new system sooner rather than later.

In terms of the i5 3570K (2500K) vs i7 3770K (2600K), it sounds like the consensus right now is that the i7 provides minimal gains for gaming applications. Is this going to be a safe assumption going forward for the next 3-5 years, or is there a possibility I will regret (from a gaming performance standpoint) not going with the i7 within this build's prospective lifetime?

And one last question: I know that the specs for the GTX 670 Ti aren't out yet, but judging by current nVidia GPU trends, will the 850W PSU I have selected be enough to power a second card in SLI with my setup? I've received mixed results from different PSU calculators, so I'm not sure if I need to spring for a bigger PSU.

Anyways, that ended up being a lot longer than expected, sorry about that. Thanks for reading this far if anyone is still here, any answers, comments, feedback, would be greatly appreciated!
February 29, 2012 4:48:13 AM

Honestly, I would not wait. If you can make a great system now, why wait? Besides, without knowing exactly what kepler is, you can't be sure if it is worth getting.
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February 29, 2012 5:37:10 AM

yeah you can wait for things to be released or just get a good system now, good luck with diablo III xD maybe next year...
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February 29, 2012 5:57:46 AM

azeem40 said:
Honestly, I would not wait. If you can make a great system now, why wait? Besides, without knowing exactly what kepler is, you can't be sure if it is worth getting.

Usually I would agree with "buy now" seeing how it's been my motto for years now. But after what Iv'e read on Ivy Bridge and seeing how it's right around the corner I would have to say wait. Where the OP did screw up though is purchasing that board so soon. 1155 Z77 boards... Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock, Intel,etc.....all have started producing them and they are due to be out on the shelves around the same time Ivy Bridge hits the shelves...April/May. Those 1155 Z77 boards are made specifically for Ivy Bridge, they use the new Panther Point chipset, will allow for higher over clocking, lower voltage RAM, and they are bad to the bone. Kepler should give at least the same numbers as the AMD 79XX series cards...lower power consumption, run cooler, PCI-E 3.0, and great performance compared to the power hog 570's and 580's. smaller die ftw.

@ the OP...this psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as is that Corsair you have linked up there. Pretty much the same psu but for cheaper.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Semi-Modular-80Plus-Certified... $134.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX PRO Series 850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 850 Watt PSU ATX 850 Energy Star Certified Power Supply P1850BNLG9

This Corsair case down below is pretty new to the market and has better airflow/cooling than the 650D, multiple fan controllers, dust filters, 200mm side fan, SSD bracket, front 3.0 USB ports, etc... you can see more pics and reviews of it on newegg.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-CC-9... $119.23 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Chronos-2-5-Inch-Solid-MK... $158.44 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Mushkin Chronos 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR120GB)

http://www.amazon.com/Barracuda-7200RPM-Cache-3-5-Inch-... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Barracuda 7200RPM 1 TB SATA 6 GB/s NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive - ST1000DM003

http://www.overclock.net/t/1219730/ocw-intel-z77-chipse... <------ Z77 motherboards for Ivy Bridge. I would exchange that Asus board if you can.
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February 29, 2012 6:21:51 AM

ivy bridge is delayed until june, which translates to next year lol...
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February 29, 2012 11:53:02 AM

bob1255 said:
ivy bridge is delayed until june, which translates to next year lol...

The low end Ivy Bridge is delayed until June, which amounts to notebooks, laptops, and some prebuilts due to the fact Intel wants to get rid of those Sandy Bridge cpu's it has on hand. Otherwise Ivy Bridge is on schedule....like the ones peeps will be purchasing from places like newegg to make their builds. Look for those cpu's in April/May of this year.
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February 29, 2012 1:08:17 PM

well ivy bridge is supposed to come out like in may so you'd have to wait like 3 months for that and who knows they may even be a complete failure so id get a sandy bridge and maybe later upgrade and kepler is coming out in like april so that's at least a month probably so i wouldn't get a ivy bridge OR a kepler plus id wait til they had some good drivers and had been reviewed ect ect so here's what id get

case: cooler master haf x
mobo: asus maximus IV extreme-z z68
cpu: intel i5 2500k
cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
video card: amd radeon hd 7970
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
hhd: western digital caviar black 1.5tb
ssd: crucial m4 64gb
psu: corsair ax850
optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
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February 29, 2012 1:24:23 PM

xtremegamer2da-max said:
well ivy bridge is supposed to come out like in may so you'd have to wait like 3 months for that and who knows they may even be a complete failure so id get a sandy bridge and maybe later upgrade and kepler is coming out in like april so that's at least a month probably so i wouldn't get a ivy bridge OR a kepler plus id wait til they had some good drivers and had been reviewed ect ect so here's what id get

case: cooler master haf x
mobo: asus maximus IV extreme-z z68
cpu: intel i5 2500k
cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
video card: amd radeon hd 7970
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
hhd: western digital caviar black 1.5tb
ssd: crucial m4 64gb
psu: corsair ax850
optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom

You really need to start doing some background work before you post on here.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4830/intels-ivy-bridge-ar... <----- Ivy Bridge
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February 29, 2012 4:50:10 PM

Why_Me said:
Usually I would agree with "buy now" seeing how it's been my motto for years now. But after what Iv'e read on Ivy Bridge and seeing how it's right around the corner I would have to say wait. Where the OP did screw up though is purchasing that board so soon. 1155 Z77 boards... Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock, Intel,etc.....all have started producing them and they are due to be out on the shelves around the same time Ivy Bridge hits the shelves...April/May. Those 1155 Z77 boards are made specifically for Ivy Bridge, they use the new Panther Point chipset, will allow for higher over clocking, lower voltage RAM, and they are bad to the bone. Kepler should give at least the same numbers as the AMD 79XX series cards...lower power consumption, run cooler, PCI-E 3.0, and great performance compared to the power hog 570's and 580's. smaller die ftw.


Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to revise my build to switch to the case and PSU you linked.

The mobo hasn't actually arrived yet, so I could still return it, but from my (limited) understanding, the Z77 boards are not much different from the Gen3 Z68 boards? Even the thread you linked seems to suggest that the upgrades are minor. I went ahead and bought the P8Z68-V PRO because it comes highly recommended almost everywhere and it was on sale for $149 and it seemed to have all the important features (PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0) I also just assumed the Z77 boards would be more expensive, though that might be entirely false. Could you explain to me the tangible benefits the Panther Point chipset offers? How does it allow higher OC, what does lower voltage RAM do, etc.? Also, what kind of price point do you expect upon release?
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