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$1200-1500 Gaming/Upstreaming PC

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April 22, 2012 8:11:38 PM

Hi there!

I'm putting together a new PC that I'd like to use for gaming and streaming gaming on twitch.tv. I am uncertain how high of a resolution that I can stream at given my budget of $1200-$1500, but I would like to try for at least 480p. The content that I will be streaming will most likely be Starcraft2 (played at low settings) plus webcam footage.

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Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month

Budget Range: $1200-$1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, recording videos for youtube, streaming gaming on twitch.tv, watching videos on netflix, browsing web.

Parts Not Required: Monitors, keyboard, mouse, speakers, headphones

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: TigerDirect or Newegg

Country: I will do my own assembly here in USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Not important

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (I will be using 2 of these DVI monitors)

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Here's my entire wishlist that I've got so far: http://www.tigerdirect.com/sectors/wishlist/wishlist.as...

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Bare Bones: $680 before rebate, $569 after rebate http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Board
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K CPU
Memory: Corsair 8GB DDR3 RAM Kit
Hard Drive: Patriot 120GB SSD
Optical Drive: 24x DVDRW
Case: Thermaltake V3 BE Mid Tower
PSU: Ultra 550W PSU

GFX Card: $265 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
GIGABYTE GV-R785OC-2GD Radeon HD 7850 OC Edition Video Card - 2048MB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0 (x16), 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x HDMI, 2x Mini DisplayPort, DirectX 11, Dual-Slot, CrossFireX, Overclocked

External HD: $160 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Fantom Drive GD2000U3 GreenDrive3 External Hard Drive - 2TB, USB 3.0, Plug & Play

OS: $140 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT Operating System Software - OEM DVD

Webcam: $90 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Logitech 960-000764 C920 HD Pro Webcam - USB, up to 15 Megapixel Snapshots, 1080p Video Recording, Built-in Dual Stereo Microphone, Autofocus, Universal Clip

Microphone: $70 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Versatile USB Microphone - HD Audio, Plug and Play, PC/Mac

Case Fans x3=$18 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Coolmax CMF-1225-BL 120mm UV LED Cooling Case Fan - Blue

Mini DisplayPort adapter $14 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
SIIG - DisplayPort adapter - mini-DisplayPort (M) - DVI-D (F) - 8 in ( DisplayPort 1.1 / DVI 1.0 )

Shipping: $15

Total cost before rebate: $1458

Total cost after rebate: $1348

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What do you think?

Here are my concerns right now:

1. Mobo+Processor
I am very uncertain about what to pick here. I've heard that for streaming Intel is a little better than AMD. I've also heard that there isn't much performance difference per cost between the i5 and i7. Are either of those statements false? Will I be okay streaming with an i5, or will I need to go up to i7? Or should I go an entirely different route and opt for an AMD mobo+processor instead?

2. Additional HD: External vs Internal
Because I plan to do a lot of rendering, I obviously want a SSD. However I will also want an additional hard drive that can provide about 1-2TB of extra space. How much of a speed difference is there between an internal 7200 RPM SATA 6.0 hard drive and an external USB 3.0 hard drive? I like the portability of the external HD, but not if it means that there will be a significant drop off in speed.

3. OS
Honestly, I could care less about which version of windows that I use. For streaming, will there be any difference between using Windows XP and Windows 7? Also, I will be using 8GB of RAM, will that mean that I need to get 64-bit?

Thanks in advance for your replies! =)
April 22, 2012 8:28:15 PM

knightofround said:

What do you think?

Here are my concerns right now:

1. Mobo+Processor
I am very uncertain about what to pick here. I've heard that for streaming Intel is a little better than AMD. I've also heard that there isn't much performance difference per cost between the i5 and i7. Are either of those statements false? Will I be okay streaming with an i5, or will I need to go up to i7? Or should I go an entirely different route and opt for an AMD mobo+processor instead?

2. Additional HD: External vs Internal
Because I plan to do a lot of rendering, I obviously want a SSD. However I will also want an additional hard drive that can provide about 1-2TB of extra space. How much of a speed difference is there between an internal 7200 RPM SATA 6.0 hard drive and an external USB 3.0 hard drive? I like the portability of the external HD, but not if it means that there will be a significant drop off in speed.

3. OS
Honestly, I could care less about which version of windows that I use. For streaming, will there be any difference between using Windows XP and Windows 7? Also, I will be using 8GB of RAM, will that mean that I need to get 64-bit?

Thanks in advance for your replies! =)


1. I will definitely go with intel processors. As for the difference between i5 and i7, i7 has more cores (6 compared to 4) and has hyperthreading technology which could help you in video processing. If it is just for gaming though, i5 and i7 have very minimal performance differences between the two of them.

2. Not sure about this one...

3. You will definitely need 64 bit if you want to support all your RAM. 32 bit OS only support up to 4 Gb of Memory. Win Xp is out of the question because its a 32 bit OS. Win 7 64 bit will be your best bet.

4. I am not sure about that PSU. Brand name is unknown to me and its not very power efficient.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2012 9:12:00 PM

i7 doesn't have 6 cores; it has 4. With HT enabled, it has 4 extra threads.
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April 22, 2012 9:44:28 PM

It depends which i7, but the true 6 core i7s are waay out of range for this budget. The Sandy Bridge i7 will come in useful as the uploading of the gameplay footage takes more CPU resources.
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April 22, 2012 11:22:44 PM

azeem40 said:
i7 doesn't have 6 cores; it has 4. With HT enabled, it has 4 extra threads.

o.. that was my mistake then.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2012 11:57:41 PM

7850 for 480P ???? What is the actual resolution you plan on using ?
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a b 4 Gaming
April 23, 2012 12:02:02 AM

It will be 3860x1080.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 23, 2012 3:37:45 AM

but I would like to try for at least 480p...... is confusing despite further monitor information
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a b 4 Gaming
April 23, 2012 7:53:40 AM

Avoid Ultra PSUs. The referenced 550W is probably capable of less actual 12V power than an Antec 380W, and is made by a third-rate Chinese company.

i5 and i7 both come in 4-core versions. The actual difference is hyperthreading, which allows for more simultaneous threads under some conditions... simulating an 8-core CPU, kind of. Your usage does not indicate any great need for an i7, but you are right on the edge of a new batch of CPUs from Intel.

So, you need to hold off for a few more days on a CPU decision.
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April 24, 2012 12:34:33 AM

spentshells said:
7850 for 480P ???? What is the actual resolution you plan on using ?

My desktop resolution is 1920x1080. Which is the resolution at which I game. However, I know that with my budget I won't be able to upstream at full 1080p, so I will probably need to render down at a lower resolution. I would *like* to be able to upstream at least 480p, although obviously the higher I can achieve, the better.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 12:35:57 AM

Ohh, I get it now. That res was for streaming, not gaming. Silly me. :p 
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April 24, 2012 12:38:48 AM

Proximon said:
Avoid Ultra PSUs. The referenced 550W is probably capable of less actual 12V power than an Antec 380W, and is made by a third-rate Chinese company.

i5 and i7 both come in 4-core versions. The actual difference is hyperthreading, which allows for more simultaneous threads under some conditions... simulating an 8-core CPU, kind of. Your usage does not indicate any great need for an i7, but you are right on the edge of a new batch of CPUs from Intel.

So, you need to hold off for a few more days on a CPU decision.

Yeah, to be honest I had a bad experience with an Ultra PSU in the past so I have no problems shopping around. Which brands would you recommend?

Also, as I'm in no real rush I have no problem waiting a few weeks on the CPU. What CPU should I wait for?
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a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 1:55:31 AM

i5 3570K
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...

Should be priced less than the 2550K. Will be a bit hotter but consume less energy, while being a bit faster. OK for moderate overclocks.

Pair it with a Z77 motherboard like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And 1600Mhz RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Given the 7850 and no need to add a second, I will recommend 4-5 PSUs in ascending price and quality, all adequate

Rosewill RG530
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Neo eco 520
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic S12II 520
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well, newegg just went boom, but if you want a higher quality modular PSU I can recommend some of those as well.
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April 24, 2012 4:34:22 AM

Proximon said:
i5 3570K
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...

Should be priced less than the 2550K. Will be a bit hotter but consume less energy, while being a bit faster. OK for moderate overclocks.

Pair it with a Z77 motherboard like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And 1600Mhz RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Given the 7850 and no need to add a second, I will recommend 4-5 PSUs in ascending price and quality, all adequate

Rosewill RG530
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Neo eco 520
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic S12II 520
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well, newegg just went boom, but if you want a higher quality modular PSU I can recommend some of those as well.

For the processor, I noticed that in your post you mentioned i5 3750, however the review that you linked was for the i7 3750. How close will the i5 3750 be to the i7 3750?

I noticed in the review that the performance for adobe premier pro css was like 40% higher than the i5 2775, and I think out of all the benchmarks listed I will be using that one the most. Its just a question as to how much I can squeeze into my budget: Is it worth downgrading either the SSD or GFX card in order to free up more funds for a better processor?

I will look into those PSUs, thanks.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 6:30:48 AM

I wouldn't sacrifice anything to get the i7. The i5 will be plenty fast enough for your needs.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 6:33:02 AM

The i7-3770k is just like the i7-2700k. Unless you are going to do something very CPU-intensive, moreso than gaming, HT is not needed and isn't utilized in today's games. Save $100 and use the $ on the GPU.
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April 29, 2012 7:49:06 PM

Proximon said:
I wouldn't sacrifice anything to get the i7. The i5 will be plenty fast enough for your needs.


On CPUs:

So I got some specs on the i5 3570k, and I was surprised to see them almost identical to the i5-2500k:

$220 Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500 Unlocked Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.70 GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 95W, Fan, Retail, Graphics Core speed: 850-1100 MHz http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Compare that to:

$210 Intel BX806237i53570K Core i5-3570K Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 3.40GHz (3.80GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 77W, Fan, Unlocked, Retail, Graphics Core speed: 650-1150 MHz http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

I doubt that I would notice much of a difference between 3.40GHz and 3.30 GHz, as I will probably be OCing eventually (not right away though).

I notice that the i5-3570 requires 18% less wattage than the i5-2500k. But the i5-2500k has a tighter graphics core speed range. Does that matter? Also, it looks like the i5-2500k has an extra 1MB L2 Cache, whereas the i5-3570 only has the 6MB L3. Does that matter too?

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On Mobo:

I notice that both i5 processors use the same LGA1155 socket. Assuming I go with the i5-3570k, do I need to get a mobo that specifically handles 3rd gen Intel processors? Lately I've been thinking about this mobo:

$90 GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z68 Express, DDR3 2133MHz, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 7.1-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, CrossFireX Ready http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

However in the specs, it mentions that the board only supports 2nd generation Intel processors. Would the the i5-3570k still work with this mobo given it's the same socket?

------

On PSUs:

I tried looking for the PSUs you mentioned, however I couldn't find any of those brands listed on tigerdirect. I did a little bit more research into PSU brands, and I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this one:

Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 Power Supply - 650 Watts, ATX, 140mm Fan, 80 Plus Bronze, SLI Ready, Active PFC http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Thanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
April 29, 2012 8:44:40 PM

The graphics make no difference at all, as you are buying a separate GPU.

As to performance and overclocking, it's really a toss-up. You get better performance out of the box with IB, but SB overclocks better.

On the board, supposedly there is a BIOS update for GA-Z68AP-D3 (rev. 2.0) that supports "Intel 22nm CPU E1 stepping" but no IB processors appear on the official CPU support list. What that probably means is they don't guarantee it.

That's a fine PSU.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 29, 2012 8:49:56 PM

You can find these parts on newegg also.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Mid-Tower-... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX806237I53570K

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

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

http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-SSDNow-120GB-Solid-KW-S2... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Solid State Drive KW-S2120-4B

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q0PT3I/ref=s9_simh... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Total: $819.88 *not including shipping and rebates


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $369.99 - $349.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 5% off w/ promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card

http://www.overclockers.com/msi-r7870-twin-frozr <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99
GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-radeon-hd-7870-o... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Gigabyte 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Asus 7870



http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=B75%20Pro3 <----- a better look at that Asrock board

http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <---- another look at that Corsair 300R
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