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Ivy bridge Gaming Comp Build $750.00+(revised)

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April 23, 2012 4:35:54 AM

Hi, I am kind of new to the whole building a computer from scratch, so I have enlisted my friends and family to help me build a new gaming computer.

Approximate Purchase Date: anywhere this week to next week. Preferably before May 15th

Budget Range: 750$ give or take.

System Usage: Gaming and Browsing (Skyrim, Diablo 3, Natural Selection 2, DOTA 2, APB, Total War Games.)

Parts Not Required: Hard drive (raptor 10k rpm), Mouse, Monitor, Keyboard, Power supply 620w

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Well known brands

Overclocking:Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:Maybe

Monitor Resolution:1680x1050

Additional Comments: I'm concerned about the i5 3750k ivy bridge getting full benefit from the motherboard Iv selected.

Old Build
Spoiler
CPU: i5 3750k 225$
I am thinking about overclocking it, but I never did it before on my other rigs so I am a bit hesitant.

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EVGA 012-P3-2066-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 448 Cores FTW 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
289.99$
30.00 rebate
259.99$
I originally was just gonna go for the 560ti but my budget allowed me to go to the next level, so I figured why not go for the 448 cores. I did a benchmark test between the equivalent radeon and for my resolution and pretty much across the board, the 560ti 448core trumped it, but I welcome criticisms.

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
46.99$

I'm an uber noob at picking out RAM, but I was told I should go with the faster RAM and get the 1600, and that It didn't really matter the brand as long as if it would work with the motherboard. Some advice with this would be very helpful.

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
179.99$
I originally was not going to get the GEN 3 and I was gonna go for something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Since its around 100 dollars cheaper, but then I realized that it wasn't a GEN3 which wouldn't be ivy bridge compatible? I am completely unsure about this, because I have no qualms with going for the cheaper motherboard since it would free up some cash for a small SSD, but if I have to get the GEN3 to take full advantage of the ivy bridge, then I might as well just get the GEN3. I hope I am being clear.

The total is around 740ish$, which is right in the sweet spot for me and about all my wallet can handle, I could maybe squeeze in a tad more, but that's about it.


Revised Build

Spoiler
MOBO - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131837
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$144.99

GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130593
EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$299.99

RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231428
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
$46.99

Aftermarket HSF - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103099
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
$34.99
$29.99 after mail-in rebate

CPU - Core i5-3750K Ivy Bridge
$225.00

Total: $751.96
After Rebate: $746.96
Budget: $750.00


Revised Build 2.0

GPU - I settled with the MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card. With the rebate and the 5% off coupon, along with free shipping, no tax, and a free game, this specific card was the best price for this GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127662
promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
The total price came to around $330.00
(Side note - anyone interested in this deal better do this quickly because a lot of the coupon deals newegg has are going out of stock fast.)

MoBo - I went with the ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS. This board comes with a 10% off coupon, along with that its one of the cheapest z77's out there. If you don't want a MoBo with tons of different ports and you also don't want a mATX, I say this is the perfect choice. It allows for the opportunity for me to someday be able to crossfire my 7870's (probably is going to be a super tight fit though) This board will also allow me to get a SATA III ssd down the road as well, along with be compatible and taking full advantage of the CPU I picked out (i5-3750k IB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131837
promo code EMCNFHF38, ends 4/30
The total price came to around $133.00

RAM - I'm going to be sticking with G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL, instead of going with the 2133 that are currently on sale with a coupon for 15% off. I think if you really need to be OCed past the potential of the 1600's then go for the others, but as a gamer, I don't think its necessary for me to. So i'll save myself the hassle and 4 dollars and stick with the 1600's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231428
Price $46.99

CPU - I'v been reading a lot about how IB is probably not going to be as good as the current SB's but I think I'm going to stick with what I set out to get, and try the IB. I'm going to be getting the Core i5-3750K IB which is the current i5-2500K. My intentions are to eventually Overclock the 3750k, but not right out of the box.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/I [...] 14325.html
Price - $215-230.00

Headset - I settled on the KOSS SB49 Stereo Headset, mostly because I go through headsets every 6 months, give or take, so I wanted something cheap around 30 dollars and settled on these and I love them! I'm a gamer constantly on ventrilo, and I wanted a headset with great voice clarity that was comfy, and these delivered.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6826263048
You can get them through newegg, but they charge shipping on these, however if you get them through Amazon Prime, the tax is cheaper than the newegg shipping, saving you a few dollars. I am someone who likes to save as much as possible so I went with amazon.
Price $31.00

Parts I'll be reusing.

Mid-Tower - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129025

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139002

HDD - Raptor 10k RPM

Monitor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824116096

Mouse - Logitech MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse

Keyboard - saitek eclipse keyboard
April 23, 2012 5:03:37 AM

the 7850 would be a better buy at that gpu range. unless you prefer nvidia cards
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April 23, 2012 5:13:53 AM

I do have a tendency to lean towards nvidia, however I wouldn't have a problem I guess switching to an AMD, however I really cant find a site that has 560ti 448core benchmark comparisons with the 7850.
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Related resources
April 23, 2012 5:22:12 AM

now im relooking into it, I'm not sure which is a better card now. they are both along the same lines sorta =X
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April 23, 2012 5:31:00 AM

also note that if your going to use a z68 mobo, your gonna need a seperate processor in order to turn on and flash the mobo's bios in order to use an ivy bridge processor on it.
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Best solution

April 23, 2012 5:33:31 AM

Since you say you want to get an Ivy Bridge and you need a new Motherboard anyways, you might as well get a Z77 board. That way you will have native USB 3.0 and the newer platform should have a longer supported life. I believe the Z77 boards are also supposed to save a few watts of power.

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

Keeping with Asus, this board is $10 more, but gives you built in Wi-fi (not sure if you need it), 2 more USB 3.0 rear ports, PS-2 port, and an additional 2 SATA III ports. There are some cheaper Z77 boards as well, look around newegg and see which ones have the features you need.

If you really want to save $ on the MB, you can grab a Biostar Z77 for $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , however, that board may leave you wanting. I wouldn't recommend skimping on the MB.

For ram, check out these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I know they are out of stock at the 'egg, but these sticks have been praised for their overclockability. Google around and you can find other sources who sell them for around the same price as those G-Skill sticks. However, the ram you picked is not a bad choice either. Whatever RAM you pick should be rated at 1.5V or less.
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April 23, 2012 5:33:36 AM

So I am kind of confused now, can you elaborate, because you kinda just spoke chinese to me. :(  This was directed towards dudewitbow.

Thanks greyphox, that is actually a good idea, what about this mobo, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?

Would this suit my needs? I don't really need wifi, since I run a cable all the way to my comp. Im just curious if this would be able to satisfy the needs of my other hardware.
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April 23, 2012 5:46:56 AM

Hucklecat said:
So I am kind of confused now, can you elaborate, because you kinda just spoke chinese to me. :(  This was directed towards dudewitbow.

Thanks greyphox, that is actually a good idea, what about this mobo, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?

Would this suit my needs? I don't really need wifi, since I run a cable all the way to my comp. Im just curious if this would be able to satisfy the needs of my other hardware.



I don't see any problems with it. Pretty similar boards, you just lose 2 SATA III ports and they change out the Intel NIC for a realtek one. But also save $45, which is almost enough to buy a 60GB SSD for boot drive
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April 23, 2012 5:54:24 AM

greyphox said:
I don't see any problems with it. Pretty similar boards, you just lose 2 SATA III ports and they change out the Intel NIC for a realtek one. But also save $45, which is almost enough to buy a 60GB SSD for boot drive


I'm really only going to use 2 drives anyway, I was going to in the future get a SSD, and use my current raptor as a slave drive, I don't really plan on using 4 SATA III ports, so the 45 dollars would be great.

Whats a NIC? and what would be the difference between them other than quality?

1 more question I hope you don't mind, would my current 620w PSU be able to handle my current setup, if I were to switch out the selected GPU with the 570ti geforce, and either or the mobo you and I linked.
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April 23, 2012 6:08:24 AM

Hucklecat said:
I'm really only going to use 2 drives anyway, I was going to in the future get a SSD, and use my current raptor as a slave drive, I don't really plan on using 4 SATA III ports, so the 45 dollars would be great.

Whats a NIC? and what would be the difference between them other than quality?

1 more question I hope you don't mind, would my current 620w PSU be able to handle my current setup, if I were to switch out the selected GPU with the 570ti geforce, and either or the mobo you and I linked.


Hiya Huckle - The ram you picked is good. As far as the Samsung ram goes, it's 1.35v ram (max safe is 1.65v) so yeah it has a lot of OC headroom and I've heard great things about it too but you'd want to put a heatsink or fan directly on them if OCing them. I'd stick with what you picked on ram.

The z77 motherboard is great, it's an Asus. No need to worry about the Network Interface Controller you won't notice a diff.

Get an SSD now and install your OS (and any frequently used apps) to it. Even if you can only manage a 60gb get one it's worth it. Use your spinning disk(s) for everything else.

Get a good CPU cooler for overclocking. Even if you plan to do it later get good cooling now. There are plenty of good, cheap air coolers. Or maybe think about a closed-loop, sealed, maintenance-free watercooler like a Corsair H80 or any of that type of cooler. They are actually simple to install and perform well. Except for the bigger ones you can basically just mount the radiator over a 120mm fan port in your case. I prefer them simply because I don't have to have a 1.5kg block of metal hanging off my motherboard to cool the CPU.

As far as your 620w PSU, what brand is it? It should be fine, but I'd hate to see you put together such a nice build with a lower-quality PSU.
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April 23, 2012 1:54:56 PM

So this is the psu I'll be using, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I am still torn on the GPU, I'v decided that maybe I should just downgrade it all together to a 560ti, and get a 120g SSD, or should I just go for the 570ti, which is the same price as the 560/448core. In terms of FPS between the 560ti and 670 there is about 10-12 fps average increase on the overall benchmarks.

Here is the 560ti - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

560ti/448core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

570ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll also be switching to this for my mobo,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

while sticking to my previous plans for the RAM, and i5 3750k ivy bridge processor.

Could you by any chance recommend any aftermarket cooling that is not water, that is affordable. I heard coolmaster is good.
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April 23, 2012 4:49:47 PM

Hucklecat said:
So this is the psu I'll be using, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I am still torn on the GPU, I'v decided that maybe I should just downgrade it all together to a 560ti, and get a 120g SSD, or should I just go for the 570ti, which is the same price as the 560/448core. In terms of FPS between the 560ti and 670 there is about 10-12 fps average increase on the overall benchmarks.

Here is the 560ti - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

560ti/448core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

570ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll also be switching to this for my mobo,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

while sticking to my previous plans for the RAM, and i5 3750k ivy bridge processor.

Could you by any chance recommend any aftermarket cooling that is not water, that is affordable. I heard coolmaster is good.


I've heard good things about the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . Only $30 after rebate. Would definitely be an upgrade from the stock Intel cooler.

Also make sure you have some good thermal paste like Arctic Silver or similar. Don't wanna be in the middle of the build and realize you don't have any.
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April 23, 2012 6:12:06 PM

greyphox said:
I've heard good things about the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . Only $30 after rebate. Would definitely be an upgrade from the stock Intel cooler.

Also make sure you have some good thermal paste like Arctic Silver or similar. Don't wanna be in the middle of the build and realize you don't have any.


If I start with the stock intel cooler, would I be able to replace it if I decide to upgrade to a coolmaster for when I decide to OC? Or is it once I put the stock cooler on, that's it, what's done is done?
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April 23, 2012 6:15:07 PM

A NIC is a Network Interface Card for Ethernet Cables. Most MOBOs come with an onboard NIC.
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April 23, 2012 6:21:38 PM

Hucklecat said:
If I start with the stock intel cooler, would I be able to replace it if I decide to upgrade to a coolmaster for when I decide to OC? Or is it once I put the stock cooler on, that's it, what's done is done?


The stock HSF is easy to replace. There is a backplate on the rear of the MB that the HSF screws into. Just unscrew the stock one, clean off the old thermal paste from the CPU (you can use 90% + rubbing alcohol), then reapply thermal paste and install the aftermarket cooler in the same manner. There are lots of articles/videos online that can show you the best installation techniques.
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April 23, 2012 8:55:18 PM

Would it be possible to just use the stock cooler? Why is an aftermarket cooler recommended? Would Intel really give a product that is designed to be OCed and not provide a viable cooling system? I just want to make sure its 100% necessary, but I guess in the long run whats 30 dollars for insurance on a 230 dollar piece of hardware.
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April 23, 2012 11:59:34 PM

Just another quick question as well, whats an easy way of finding out if everything is going to fit? If the heat sink is going to fit, etc? Should I list the hardware i'll be using?
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April 24, 2012 12:12:05 AM

For a small OC of 3.8 GHz or so, stock cooling is acceptable.
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April 24, 2012 12:16:11 AM

Hucklecat said:
Would it be possible to just use the stock cooler? Why is an aftermarket cooler recommended? Would Intel really give a product that is designed to be OCed and not provide a viable cooling system? I just want to make sure its 100% necessary, but I guess in the long run whats 30 dollars for insurance on a 230 dollar piece of hardware.


Aftermarket HSF are recommended because they have increased cooling capabilities. For a given load, they generally operate a few to several degrees C cooler than the stock. If you aren't overclocking, the stock HSF is perfectly fine. It was designed for the peak load of that processor family. However, when you overclock, you are now exceeding the manufacturers specifications, in both power use and temperatures. Intel views this as altering their product, and thus voiding the warranty. If you fry your CPU cause you OC'd it on a stock cooler, tough luck (unless you buy their overclocking insurance plan). Excess heat is detrimental to all electronics, so the cooler you can run them, typically the longer they last. In a CPU, increased temperature also causes increased power consumption, so a cooler system is a more efficient one. There's a reason guys break records using liquid nitrogen instead of stock intel coolers ;) 

Hucklecat said:
Just another quick question as well, whats an easy way of finding out if everything is going to fit? If the heat sink is going to fit, etc? Should I list the hardware i'll be using?


If you are using a standard ATX case, clearance typically isn't an issue. The only problem you may run into is the HSF blocking one of the DIMMs, so you wouldn't be able to populate all 4 RAM slots. Besides that, most stuff is pretty much plug and play. Extra long video cards can also cause problems, but you were talking about 560TI/570, so that shouldn't be an issue.
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April 24, 2012 12:18:22 AM

For my Radeon 7950, since my case was all cluttered when I was cable routing, I had to take the MOBO off the standoffs and place on the MOBO box to insert the card.
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April 24, 2012 1:19:32 AM

Thanks for the help everyone I think I have it all planned out. I'm going to edit the main post so people can see and I'll give an updated list of what I'll be using. I'll place it in both posts for future convenience.

MOBO - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$144.99

GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$299.99

RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
$46.99

Aftermarket HSF - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
$34.99
$29.99 after mail-in rebate

CPU - Core i5-3750K Ivy Bridge
$225.00

Total: $751.96
After Rebate: $746.96
Budget: $750.00

Parts I'll be reusing.

Mid-Tower - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Raptor 10k RPM

Monitor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse - Logitech MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse

Keyboard - saitek eclipse keyboard
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April 24, 2012 4:29:41 AM

Sorry for the double post but I am a bit torn between two GPU's that I would like to have settled.

Reading dozens of builds and opinions I can't decide between a gtx 570ti or a radeon 7850.

Now I'll be using this PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would a 620w PSU be able to handle that 570ti? Should I be worried about this factor?

I also heard someone say they were unhappy with the performance of the 570ti and was going to switch to a 7850, which I don't understand why someone would want to essentially downgrade to a GPU that is 13-15% less powerful and is seperated from 20-40 dollars.

This site http://www.hwcompare.com/12053/geforce-gtx-570-vs-radeo... compares the two cards efficiency and the 570 trumps the radeon in all but the power usage, but is this a good enough reason to downgrade to the 7850?

This site http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=518 compares the two GPU's fps in several games and resolutions, and since I'll be running at a 1680, the 570 seems to beat out the 7850 across the board, in fact even in the higher resolutions the 570ti peaks ahead, the radeon of course wins in some but I still don't see why I wouldn't want to spend the extra 20-40 dollars on what it looks like to sometimes be 12-15 fps more.

Is there something I am missing that people are choosing the 7850? Some enlightenment other than the price disparity would be much appreciated.
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April 24, 2012 3:34:56 PM

Hucklecat said:
Sorry for the double post but I am a bit torn between two GPU's that I would like to have settled.

Reading dozens of builds and opinions I can't decide between a gtx 570ti or a radeon 7850.

Now I'll be using this PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would a 620w PSU be able to handle that 570ti? Should I be worried about this factor?

I also heard someone say they were unhappy with the performance of the 570ti and was going to switch to a 7850, which I don't understand why someone would want to essentially downgrade to a GPU that is 13-15% less powerful and is seperated from 20-40 dollars.

This site http://www.hwcompare.com/12053/geforce-gtx-570-vs-radeo... compares the two cards efficiency and the 570 trumps the radeon in all but the power usage, but is this a good enough reason to downgrade to the 7850?

This site http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=518 compares the two GPU's fps in several games and resolutions, and since I'll be running at a 1680, the 570 seems to beat out the 7850 across the board, in fact even in the higher resolutions the 570ti peaks ahead, the radeon of course wins in some but I still don't see why I wouldn't want to spend the extra 20-40 dollars on what it looks like to sometimes be 12-15 fps more.

Is there something I am missing that people are choosing the 7850? Some enlightenment other than the price disparity would be much appreciated.


A 620W would be able to handle a 570, and will easily manage a 7850. As far as which card, it can be a matter of personal preference. The 570 is somewhat faster (maybe 10%, depends on the game), but consumes more power/generates more heat, and has smaller VRAM. The 7850 is ~$40 cheaper, runs cooler, uses less power, has more VRAM, but is slower at stock. At your resolution, VRAM probably won't be a huge factor now, but newer games are constantly needing more VRAM. You can overclock both cards to get more performance, but the 7850 should be able to OC further due to thermal headroom; 1GHz on the core is fairly common (13% increase), easily bringing it on par to the 570. You also stated you may be interested in SLI/Crossfire in the future. If this is the case, you would need a new power supply to handle 2x570 in SLI, while AMD recommends a 600W power supply for 2x7850 in Crossfire (or 2x7870). Keep in mind, however, that is for stock settings, and you probably wouldn't want to OC the cards much if you Crossfire them, just to make sure your PSU has some breathing room.

On a side note, the MB you picked out is now on sale at newegg. Use code EMCNFHF38 for $10 off, which now makes it $135.
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April 24, 2012 4:36:03 PM

Thanks for the heads up on that newegg code!!

I am really thinking about going to a 7850, if i do, and I decide to OC it, would I need to also apply an aftermarket heatsink and fan to it? Or are the 7850's able to be overclocked with stock fans?

Also I can't seem to find a place where an ASUS 7850 is sold, they are out of stock at newegg, and i am really hesitant with getting one of these other brands, unless you can vouch for one of these other brands in stock at newegg.
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April 24, 2012 5:00:43 PM

People tend to like Sapphire, MSI, Gigabyte and Asus for more quality(company really depends on which card it is). XFX for warranty(since they encourage tampering and overclocking their product)
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April 24, 2012 5:10:38 PM

dudewitbow said:
People tend to like Sapphire, MSI, Gigabyte and Asus for more quality(company really depends on which card it is). XFX for warranty(since they encourage tampering and overclocking their product)


I heard the gigabyte 7850 has faulty fans that rattle. These other companies, powercoloer, visiontek, HIS, and Diamond, I know absolutely nothing about and haven't heard of any of them.

How often does Newegg, get ASUS and XFX in stock? I'd prefer these, and I'd prefer gigabyte over these other companies I named but the faulty rattling fans have me paranoid.

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April 24, 2012 5:11:08 PM

Hucklecat said:
Thanks for the heads up on that newegg code!!

I am really thinking about going to a 7850, if i do, and I decide to OC it, would I need to also apply an aftermarket heatsink and fan to it? Or are the 7850's able to be overclocked with stock fans?

Also I can't seem to find a place where an ASUS 7850 is sold, they are out of stock at newegg, and i am really hesitant with getting one of these other brands, unless you can vouch for one of these other brands in stock at newegg.


Stock cooling solutions are adequate for all but the highest OCs on video cards. I would advise you to go for a non-reference solution, however. I personally can't vouch for any of those brands, as I've never used any of their cards before. Based on reviews, I would probably stay away from the Gigabyte model, as apparently the fans are crap. I run an MSI Hawk 5770 at 950/1300 24/7 for 2 years now, but am probably going to upgrade when the 8xxx series rolls out, or in a few months if I get the itch.

The Asus 7850 can be found on Amazon for $250 (have to go to the other sellers page).
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April 24, 2012 5:16:38 PM

Hucklecat said:
I heard the gigabyte 7850 has faulty fans that rattle. These other companies, powercoloer, visiontek, HIS, and Diamond, I know absolutely nothing about and haven't heard of any of them.

How often does Newegg, get ASUS and XFX in stock? I'd prefer these, and I'd prefer gigabyte over these other companies I named but the faulty rattling fans have me paranoid.



Never mind the Amazon one for $250. It's Out of stock, with 2-4 weeks delivery. So Newegg will probably have about the same time frame.
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April 24, 2012 6:02:26 PM

greyphox said:
Stock cooling solutions are adequate for all but the highest OCs on video cards. I would advise you to go for a non-reference solution, however. I personally can't vouch for any of those brands, as I've never used any of their cards before. Based on reviews, I would probably stay away from the Gigabyte model, as apparently the fans are crap. I run an MSI Hawk 5770 at 950/1300 24/7 for 2 years now, but am probably going to upgrade when the 8xxx series rolls out, or in a few months if I get the itch.

The Asus 7850 can be found on Amazon for $250 (have to go to the other sellers page).


I think im just going to up the ante and go for the ASUS 7870 and not get a heatsink and fan for the processor and just use the stock, with the coupon code you gave me it brings my total to 751.97, which is right on the money for me.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Here the revised build, with a i5-2500k sandybridge as a placeholder for the i5-3750k ivybridge.
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April 24, 2012 6:28:45 PM

Hucklecat said:
I think im just going to up the ante and go for the ASUS 7870 and not get a heatsink and fan for the processor and just use the stock, with the coupon code you gave me it brings my total to 751.97, which is right on the money for me.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Here the revised build, with a i5-2500k sandybridge as a placeholder for the i5-3750k ivybridge.


If you are upping to a 7870, take a look at the MSI Twin Frozr http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Same price after mail in rebate and clocked higher from the factory. You'll want to check the reviews on both and see which one you like more. Both should overclock well, and if you push them a bit, you'll be in the 7950/580 territory for FPS.
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April 24, 2012 7:07:00 PM

For me it was a toss up between the ASUS and Sapphire 7870's, I went with the ASUS for a few reasons
-The clock speed is slightly higher than the Sapphire, but this really isn't a big deal especially since its just by 10MHZ
-It comes with this feature that the others didn't "DirectCU thermal utilizes direct-contact GPU heatpipes for 20% cooler and significantly quieter performance than reference."
-The mobo I picked out is also an ASUS, so I might as well stick with the same manufacturer to avoid any unseen problems.

But as a side question, why does the MSI Twin Frozr start at 370? What's special about it? The spec details are very minimal with this one.

Here is a link comparing the two on newegg
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April 24, 2012 7:41:34 PM

Hucklecat said:
For me it was a toss up between the ASUS and Sapphire 7870's, I went with the ASUS for a few reasons
-The clock speed is slightly higher than the Sapphire, but this really isn't a big deal especially since its just by 10MHZ
-It comes with this feature that the others didn't "DirectCU thermal utilizes direct-contact GPU heatpipes for 20% cooler and significantly quieter performance than reference."
-The mobo I picked out is also an ASUS, so I might as well stick with the same manufacturer to avoid any unseen problems.

But as a side question, why does the MSI Twin Frozr start at 370? What's special about it? The spec details are very minimal with this one.


Newegg doesn't show the clock speeds in the details for some reason, but if you look at reviews for the MSI, the clocks are 1050/1200 on Core/RAM, vs. the Asus at 1010/1210. So the MSI gives you an extra 40MHz Core (but -10 RAM) from the factory. The extra up front comes partly from increased clocks, and the chips could be a higher bin (ensuring that OC). MSI also has the Afterburner software for OC their card. Its pretty useful and you can set up custom fan curves. I believe Asus has something similar, but I've only used Afterburner.

The whole 20% cooler than reference is marketing. The MSI also runs cooler than reference, they claim 15 degrees.
http://us.msi.com/product/vga/R7870-Twin-Frozr-2GD5-OC....

Here are some reviews of overclocking on the 2 cards from the same source. The Asus barely edges out the MSI, but this is Max OC, and YMMV on any given card. The MSI has lower temperatures under load (both stock and OC'd). Noise levels are identical.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_7870_Twin_Fro...

Either card is a great option. An advantage to the Asus is you don't have to worry about a rebate.
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April 24, 2012 10:19:03 PM

I was wondering 2 things.

1) Are these two heat sinks that much different that the evo is 5 dollars more? Would the 30 dollar one work just as well on a i5-3750k ivybridge?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

2) Could you recommend headset with a microphone that is 30 dollars? My price line for headsets are extremely low because mine get beat up really fast, so I figure the cheaper the better since I replace them 6-12months.
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April 25, 2012 1:28:17 AM

Hucklecat said:
I was wondering 2 things.

1) Are these two heat sinks that much different that the evo is 5 dollars more? Would the 30 dollar one work just as well on a i5-3750k ivybridge?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

2) Could you recommend headset with a microphone that is 30 dollars? My price line for headsets are extremely low because mine get beat up really fast, so I figure the cheaper the better since I replace them 6-12months.


1) When I suggested the Evo, it was the same price as the 212+. The difference is the contact surface is smoother on the Evo, which should theoretically lead to better heat transfer, and it is supposed to have a slightly better fan. The Evo will run a few degrees cooler, but nothing drastic. Either one will be better than stock, whether you want to pay the extra $5 is up to you. The stock HSF can probably handle some mild overclocking on stock voltage, probably 4.0Ghz or so, but you'd want to monitor your temps to make sure its adequate.

2) No idea about headsets as I don't use them. Someone else can chime in to help you there.
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April 25, 2012 3:48:25 PM

Just wanted to give you an update if you haven't ordered parts yet. The MSI 7870 Twin Frozr is now on sale at newegg, 5% off with code MSI425, also free shipping, and still includes Dirt 3. This makes it about $26 cheaper than the Asus 7870 after rebates ($6 cheaper before rebates).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 25, 2012 5:19:42 PM

greyphox said:
Just wanted to give you an update if you haven't ordered parts yet. The MSI 7870 Twin Frozr is now on sale at newegg, 5% off with code MSI425, also free shipping, and still includes Dirt 3. This makes it about $26 cheaper than the Asus 7870 after rebates ($6 cheaper before rebates).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is fantastic! I'm gonna order it in a few days, the offer ends 4/30 so I have some time. Just wondering though, will the dimensions of that graphics card fit with all the stuff i'll be getting?

Also what site do you check for these codes?
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April 25, 2012 5:26:53 PM

Hucklecat said:
This is fantastic! I'm gonna order it in a few days, the offer ends 4/30 so I have some time. Just wondering though, will the dimensions of that graphics card fit with all the stuff i'll be getting?

Also what site do you check for these codes?


http://promotions.newegg.com/neemail/latest/index-landi... Sign up for their daily emails. They have some pretty good deals in them. The link is at the top of the page to subscribe.

As far as checking for the codes, I kind of stumbled across the MSI today browsing newegg. Promotions change all the time, so you have to be on the lookout for price changes.

Edit: The MSI 7870 is ~10.6 inches long. Based on some reviews of the case you linked, things will be tight, but you will be fine as long as you don't put a HDD in the top HDD bay.
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April 25, 2012 6:19:03 PM

greyphox said:
http://promotions.newegg.com/neemail/latest/index-landi... Sign up for their daily emails. They have some pretty good deals in them. The link is at the top of the page to subscribe.

As far as checking for the codes, I kind of stumbled across the MSI today browsing newegg. Promotions change all the time, so you have to be on the lookout for price changes.

Edit: The MSI 7870 is ~10.6 inches long. Based on some reviews of the case you linked, things will be tight, but you will be fine as long as you don't put a HDD in the top HDD bay.


Would there be room for a SSD in the top bay when I decide to get one when I get some more money?

Also for you and other who have been reading this thread and interested in MSi - http://consumerist.com/2010/03/dont-count-on-that-rebat...

I never counted on rebates and from a company I know so little about this doesn't surprise me that I won't be seeing that 20 dollars ever, however for the price with that code, its still cheaper and I think but I'm not positive that Newegg might fulfill the rebate obligations. Would you know anything about that?
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April 26, 2012 2:07:02 AM

Hucklecat said:
Quick question:

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

This ram, with the coupon, runs 3 dollars more, but is a 2133 that I believe runs at 1.55v's will my Mobo, I picked out or the IB be able to handle this? If so, should I just go with that?


Yes it will work, but I would try to make sure they run at 1.5V. 1.55V isn't bad, but for Sandy Bridge, it was recommended to avoid the 1.65V RAM, and the same probably holds true for IB as well. Those sticks are all around faster, even though the CAS Latency is higher. Just make sure the voltage is on the lower end of that 1.5V - 1.6V range they list. I think I saw somewhere that Intel recommends 1.575V as the max for RAM, but can't remember where.

2133 @ CL 11:
Max Bandwidth: 2133 * 8 = 17066 MB/s
Latency: 11 / (2133/2) = 10.31 ns

1600 @ CL 9:
Max Bandwidth: 1600 * 8 = 12800 MB/s
Latency: 9 / (1600/2) = 11.25 ns

Tom's has a good write up on IB memory scaling in their review http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...
1600 seems to be the sweet spot, with diminishing returns in real world applications after that. But for $3, why not upgrade? ;) 
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April 26, 2012 2:23:56 AM

greyphox said:
Yes it will work, but I would try to make sure they run at 1.5V. 1.55V isn't bad, but for Sandy Bridge, it was recommended to avoid the 1.65V RAM, and the same probably holds true for IB as well. Those sticks are all around faster, even though the CAS Latency is higher. Just make sure the voltage is on the lower end of that 1.5V - 1.6V range they list. I think I saw somewhere that Intel recommends 1.575V as the max for RAM, but can't remember where.

2133 @ CL 11:
Max Bandwidth: 2133 * 8 = 17066 MB/s
Latency: 11 / (2133/2) = 10.31 ns

1600 @ CL 9:
Max Bandwidth: 1600 * 8 = 12800 MB/s
Latency: 9 / (1600/2) = 11.25 ns

Tom's has a good write up on IB memory scaling in their review http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...
1600 seems to be the sweet spot, with diminishing returns in real world applications after that. But for $3, why not upgrade? ;) 


If I were to just pop them in and not even touch them to OC them to 2133, because I believe they come as 1866, would there be any problems with that? Would I have to go into the bios for anything or would just simply putting them in do the trick without any tinkering? I am extremely paranoid about damaging the new hardware. So id rather not tinker with the ram.
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April 26, 2012 2:35:06 AM

Hucklecat said:
If I were to just pop them in and not even touch them to OC them to 2133, because I believe they come as 1866, would there be any problems with that? Would I have to go into the bios for anything or would just simply putting them in do the trick without any tinkering? I am extremely paranoid about damaging the new hardware. So id rather not tinker with the ram.


I would almost guarantee you would have to do some tinkering in the bios. They will probably default to 1600 @ 9-9-9-27 or something similar. I'm not familiar with the Intel bios settings, but you would probably just set it to its XMP profile and call it a day. If not, OCing them should be fairly easy. Just set them to their rated settings and you should be fine.

You won't damage anything unless you overvolt, which I wouldn't recommned. On stock volts, worse that will happen is you fail to post on an OC, and have to clear the CMOS and redo the settings a little lower until you get it stable. There are tons of overclocking guides floating around the internet, so check a few out, specifically SB/IB ones to get a feel for what to do. Mild OCing is very easy on unlocked CPUs, it is only on the high end of pushing things to the limit do you need to know what every little setting in the bios does.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2805...(Extreme-LN2-Section-Guide-Included)&p=5090812
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April 26, 2012 9:19:16 PM

For the people interested in the finish product of my build.

GPU - I settled with the MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card. With the rebate and the 5% off coupon, along with free shipping, no tax, and a free game, this specific card was the best price for this GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
The total price came to around $330.00
(Side note - anyone interested in this deal better do this quickly because a lot of the coupon deals newegg has are going out of stock fast.)

MoBo - I went with the ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS. This board comes with a 10% off coupon, along with that its one of the cheapest z77's out there. If you don't want a MoBo with tons of different ports and you also don't want a mATX, I say this is the perfect choice. It allows for the opportunity for me to someday be able to crossfire my 7870's (probably is going to be a super tight fit though) This board will also allow me to get a SATA III ssd down the road as well, along with be compatible and taking full advantage of the CPU I picked out (i5-3750k IB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
promo code EMCNFHF38, ends 4/30
The total price came to around $133.00

RAM - I'm going to be sticking with G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL, instead of going with the 2133 that are currently on sale with a coupon for 15% off. I think if you really need to be OCed past the potential of the 1600's then go for the others, but as a gamer, I don't think its necessary for me to. So i'll save myself the hassle and 4 dollars and stick with the 1600's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price $46.99

CPU - I'v been reading a lot about how IB is probably not going to be as good as the current SB's but I think I'm going to stick with what I set out to get, and try the IB. I'm going to be getting the Core i5-3750K IB which is the current i5-2500K. My intentions are to eventually Overclock the 3750k, but not right out of the box.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-CPU-L...
Price - $215-230.00

Headset - I settled on the KOSS SB49 Stereo Headset, mostly because I go through headsets every 6 months, give or take, so I wanted something cheap around 30 dollars and settled on these and I love them! I'm a gamer constantly on ventrilo, and I wanted a headset with great voice clarity that was comfy, and these delivered.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You can get them through newegg, but they charge shipping on these, however if you get them through Amazon Prime, the tax is cheaper than the newegg shipping, saving you a few dollars. I am someone who likes to save as much as possible so I went with amazon.
Price $31.00

Before, I forget, Greyphox you have been awesome! Thank you!
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April 26, 2012 10:57:44 PM

Hucklecat said:

Before, I forget, Greyphox you have been awesome! Thank you!


You're welcome :)  Enjoy the new rig!
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May 4, 2012 12:53:15 AM

Best answer selected by Hucklecat.
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!