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First build. Are these good and compatible parts for a gaming pc?

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March 30, 2012 7:40:54 PM


This will be my first gaming pc build because the pc I have right now isn't doing it for me. I have an old Pentuim 4 cpu, Radeon 9250 256mb gpu, and 1 gb of DDR2 ram in this thing that I'm using right now. Gets about 10-25 fps in SWBF2 mid settings. Won't even run Battlefield 2.

I'd like some assistance from some pros to check if all this is compatible in case I missed something.


Case $139.99 - Antec P280 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Motherboard $314.99 - ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68... http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM $46.99 - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Graphics $599.99 - GIGABYTE GV-R797OC-3GD Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5... http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU $134.99 - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3... http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CPU $329.99 - Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CPU Cooler $34.99 - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

HDD $139.99 - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CD/DVD $16.99 - SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Grand total - $1,759


Will I be able to play in/or close to max/ultra settings for the next 2-3 years at least? Multitask too? (e.g. watch HD videos on youtube, listen to music, many tabs open, etc) I'm not so sure about the case though. I like how it's quieter than the others but what about air flow? Also, would it be big enough for all this stuff?

Thanks.

More about : build good compatible parts gaming

March 30, 2012 8:18:55 PM

Hi revenge209

I really like your build and yes you will be able to run stuff at max settings for quite a while imo :) .
However I have some comments though. i7 2600k does not give as much value for money as the i5-2550k (or the 2500k with HD). Point being I run i5-2500k and I can't find any programs/games where the cpu is a bottleneck for me, other than video encoding maybe.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Also while the motherboard is prob awesome for gaming selecting an asus z68 ( a bit cheaper version) won't make very much of a difference for high fps. Also asus gives you an UEFI bios that is better from what ive seen in reviews.
What I am working towards is that if you can scale this down a bit you can get a ssd of about 120gb for the system drive; and this really speeds up the system in general. It won't affect gaming that much but for me it was a huge boost, as system response is so much better. So you might want to consider getting an ssd (my preferred brand for ssd samsung was not on newegg).

EDIT: forgot to answer the other two questions:
1. yes everything is compatible in your build.
2. the cabinet looks fine and it will hold all your components. I don't have any direct experience with that brand but should be ok.

Best of luck with it!

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a c 85 B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2012 8:29:03 PM

To answer your question; Yes, the parts are compatible and will be a massive upgrade to your current pc.

I have some thoughts though:

1) Ivy bridge is due to launch in about a month. It will bring about 10% better price performance in the cpu area if you should decide to wait.

2) The 7970 is a top of the line graphics card and will run any game played on a single monitor very well.
However, the recently launched GTX680 is a superior card costing less($500). The initial inventory was sold out in minutes, and word is that it may be a month before you can buy one. Still, if you can find one available, jump on it.

Also, I do not think I would pay a premium for the 7970 you picked. The oem cooler will do a fine job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but it will then dump it into the case where case cooling will have to deal with it. That will heat up both the gpu AND the cpu cooling air. Not good. I would prefer a card with a direct exhaust coolet that sends the graphics heated air directly out the back of the case.

3) What do you value in a case? Quiet? Small size? Looks? For gaming, you need only adequate ventilation, particularly with newer 28nm based graphics cards. By adequate, I mean that a case should have at least two 120mm intake fans, or the equivalent as exhaust. The Antec 280 qualifies. It must also hold your parts. You will have a longish graphics card of about 11" in length. and one or two hard drives. Not much else. How many motherboard expansion slots might you use? A full ATX motherboard will have 7 slots, a M-ATX will have 4, and even a ITX will have one. All will support your 7970 with a X16 pci-e slot. Really, many smaller mid size cases or even M-ATX cases will do the job. In the end, look for a case that visually appeals to you. You will be looking at it for a long time.

Antec also makes the solo II which is also a smaller case that is very quiet. Here is a review:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/antec-solo2

4) For gaming, few games use more than 2 or 3 cores. The 2500K is considered the best gaming cpu. It is $100 cheaper than the 2600K, and will OC to the same high levels. The extra hyperthreads that the 260K provides are mainly useful for multi threaded apps, not games. If budget is not an issue, there is no downside to the 2600K.

5) I think you can find a better value motherboard at half the price. It is a good board, but unless you are seeking record level overclocks it simply is not worth it.

6) Missing from your high end build is a SSD for the os and some games. Look for a 120gb or larger SSD. It is the best performance improver you can buy today. Considering the current high price of hard drives, I would defer on the hard drive and just use the SSD until you run out of space. Then add a hard drive for expansion when prices are more reasonable.

Just some thoughts from an amateur, not a pro. No payment is required :) 
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2012 8:29:50 PM

Quote:
Also while the motherboard is prob awesome for gaming selecting an asus z68 ( a bit cheaper version) won't make very much of a difference for high fps. Also asus gives you an UEFI bios that is better from what ive seen in reviews.


Motherboards don't do *ANYTHING* for framerates - they run the GPUs but that's it. If it has a PCI Gen 3 slot and you're running a CPU that takes full advantage of it that might give you a little bit of an extra boost but for the most part it won't - that's mainly determined by the CPU and GPU, not the motherboard.

Quote:
Also, I do not think I would pay a premium for the 7970 you picked. The oem cooler will do a fine job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but it will then dump it into the case where case cooling will have to deal with it. That will heat up both the gpu AND the cpu cooling air. Not good. I would prefer a card with a direct exhaust coolet that sends the graphics heated air directly out the back of the case.


Yeah that does seem a bit excessive when you can get the EVGA 680 for $100 less and put that difference elsewhere.


Quote:
4) For gaming, few games use more than 2 or 3 cores. The 2500K is considered the best gaming cpu. It is $100 cheaper than the 2600K, and will OC to the same high levels. The extra hyperthreads that the 260K provides are mainly useful for multi threaded apps, not games. If budget is not an issue, there is no downside to the 2600K.


The motherboard also seems a bit excessive - you could scale that back a bit and get one that's like 1/2 the cost such as the Gigabyte UD3H and put the difference into getting a good SSD.
That build looks really good, my only suggestions would be to drop the 2600K to the 2500K and invest the difference in upgrading your PSU to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then upgrade your fan to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 85 B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2012 8:37:30 PM

On the psu, a 7970 will need a550w psu, as will a GTX680. If you have thoughts about cf/sli then add 200w to the psu.
It is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit. It will only take the wattage that it needs, regardless of the max rating.
Such a psu will then operate in the more efficient middle third of it's range and be quieter.

650w for a single card, and 750-850 for dual cards will be about right.

I agree that one should stick with known good quality brands.
That would include Seasonic, PC P&C, Antec, Corsair, and XFX to name a few.
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 6:12:24 PM

Quote:
On the psu, a 7970 will need a550w psu, as will a GTX680. If you have thoughts about cf/sli then add 200w to the psu.
It is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit. It will only take the wattage that it needs, regardless of the max rating.
Such a psu will then operate in the more efficient middle third of it's range and be quieter.


You also have to factor in drives, fans, and USB devices in addition to GPU and CPU. For my builds I always calculate the wattage to include 1 x SSD, 1 x HD (with option to include 1 or 2 x HD in the future), 1 x optical drive, 4 x fans and 1 x flash memory reader - so that actually comes out to about 750 minimum, 850 for OC'ing and 950 for SLI / Crossfire.

Quote:
That would include Seasonic, PC P&C, Antec, Corsair, and XFX to name a few.


I'm upgrading my Corsair TX750 to the PC Power & Cooling Silencer next week (ordered yesterday) before I get my new GPU, I usually swap PSUs about every two years.
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