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New PC build, what do you think?

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May 7, 2012 2:09:18 AM


I am building a new computer this summer and will be using this for gaming on maximum settings. I will also be using this for other media like iTunes to listen to my music and watch movies. I have over 3,000 songs and also 20 movies and counting. I would like to keep this computer for a long time, like 5+ years. So my question is: Will this set up work (i.e. do all of the parts work with each other), is the power supply a good wattage, is this a good gaming PC, can it handle all of this music and movies, and how long will this last me before i need to upgrade. Also if you have any suggestions on how to make this a better gaming PC, please give them.
My computer build will be:
 
-Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770
 
-EVGA SuperClocked+ 02G-P4-2684-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (I will run two of them in SLI)
 
-Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (I will run two of these HDD's in RAID-0 for a faster speed)

-OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
 
-ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
 
-CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9
 
-LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support
 
-Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-550 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Power Supply
 
-Antec DF-85 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
 

Extras:
 
-Acer S243HLbmii Black 24" 2ms(GTG) Full HD LED Backlight LCD monitor 250 cd/m2 ACM 8,000,000:1 w/Speakers
 
-RAZER Black 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Optical/Laser 6400 dpi Mamba 2012 Elite Ergonomic Wireless Gaming Mouse
 
-RAZER Blackwidow Ultimate - Dragon Age II Black USB Gaming Keyboard
 
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
 
I will load my operating system and all of my games onto the OCZ Vertex, while the rest of my data such as my movies and music will be on the two 2 TB HDD's. So tell me what you think, and please give me any suggestions you have. I would like to build the ultimate gaming PC that will last me a long time.

More about : build

May 7, 2012 2:31:58 AM

You might as well get the 3770k if you want to be maximally sure the processor won't be obsolete in 5 years.

RAM - I would use 2x CT2KIT51264BA1339 instead.
May 7, 2012 3:17:32 AM

Why, how does the 3770k differ from the 3770? Also, is 8 GB too little for RAM on a gaming computer?
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May 7, 2012 3:37:25 AM

The base clock on the 3770k is slightly higher than that of the 3770, but more than that the K allows OCing which could come in handy in years 4 and 5 if whatever you were doing could manage to put the processor under serious strain at the base clock.

RAM - A single windows program can only use 2 GBs of RAM most of the time. More if the program loads as a bunch of individual pieces (games don't, but audio/video editing does).

Windows 7 itself will use maybe 2 GBs in total and a game another 2 GBs leaving at least 4 open for web browsers and whatever else you happened to want to use.

Anyway, I have never heard of a gaming computer having poor performance because of only 8 GBs of RAM. If you just wanted to get 1x CT2KIT1264BA1339 that would be fine.

Indeed, 2x 4GBs may have a performance advantage over 4x 4GBs, albeit a small one. I don't really want to get into the hows and whys other than to say that I don't think you would notice a gain with the second 8.

I have 8 GBs in my gaming computer and my RAM usage never goes above half, even with like a game, 20 chrome tabs open, and my programming environment loaded.

If you for some reason wanted to try to play 3 or 4 different games at the same time it would be good to have more than 8 GBs, but otherwise 8 should be fine.
May 7, 2012 3:46:52 AM

the 3770k is unlocked, meaning that it can be significantly overclocked, unlike the non-k 3770. 8GB is perfectly fine for a gaming computing, and in fact my be a little faster than 16gbs.

550 watts is nowhere near enough for dual gtx 680s, it is minimum for ONE. In my opinion, a good quality 750W should be fine to power SLI'd 680s, but others may have a different opinion.

This would be a good option: Rosewill Capstone 750w, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The corsair tx750 v2 would also be excellent:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The modular version: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?

XFX 750W: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 7, 2012 3:49:06 AM

Raiddinn said:
RAM - A single windows program can only use 2 GBs of RAM most of the time.


That's not true for 64-bit editions of Windows (or if the app is LAA). The limit for 64-bit processes is currently 8 TB.
May 7, 2012 4:13:00 AM

Yes, the theoretical limit for a 64 bit program is 8 TBs. I don't know of any OS that will address anywhere close to that much RAM.

I have never heard of a single game using more than 2 GBs of RAM, but you are free to point one out if you like. For that matter I don't think I have heard of a 64 bit game either.

A significant portion of gamers are still on XP and game companies generally don't want to sacrifice that customer base, meaning they always (to my knowledge anyway) stick to 32 bit with no LAA. Even with LAA they would only use maybe 1 GB more (3 total) because the XP computers can't recognize more than 4 total GBs of RAM and the OS is going to use about 1 GB itself.

In any event, even if a game could break the 2 GBs cap on RAM it wouldn't bust it to the point where the game isn't playable on 8 GBs of RAM, because again in a practical sense most gamers have 8 or less GBs of RAM so they wouldn't want to sacrifice some 95% of their customer base by requiring computers to have over 8 GBs of RAM to run the game.

Not sure why it is you are arguing with me right now, but I don't think whatever the reason is that it is really relevant to what we are discussing.

No matter how you slice it there should not be any reason a gaming computer needs more than 8 GBs of RAM and if it is the case 4+ years from now that games can and do use up to 16 GBs of RAM it would be no problem to just buy another 8 at that time. I don't really forsee that change coming in the next 4 years, but if it did, then it wouldn't even be a big deal.
May 7, 2012 4:16:44 AM

Windows will address 8 TB of RAM. The theoretical limit is much higher. That said you're right in the rest. I wasn't trying to start an argument, just providing some additional info.
May 7, 2012 4:26:24 AM

Thanks for the help, I'm now gonna use 8 GB instead of 16 now. I realize I didnt need all that. But I am still unsure about my power supply. How much wattage should I have? I don't want to f*ck over my system and fry it, so what would you recommend. Also, I would like a gaming experience comparible to playing a game on a tv with a console. Will my monitor display the HDMI as good as a tv would and can it handle/display the games I am playing well?
May 7, 2012 5:53:38 AM

It will display images much better than a TV.
May 7, 2012 11:06:57 AM

Really?
May 7, 2012 12:00:14 PM

I'll second azeem on that, I have a 32" Panasonic Viera 1080p that runs as a PC/TV dual function on my 965 and I have had to magnify the text to get less eye strain. Games are bit more grainy too, but having said that tv sets have come along way.

On the topic of 64bit games. AMD, some time ago, not sure if it's still downloadable, released a free-bee 64 patch for FarCry. Does not require CD to run it, and has a couple of small enhancements. So easy to use, I still love to give that game a fang and am still finding new things out about it after more than three years. Costs nothing, plays brilliantly and still a lot of fun.
May 7, 2012 1:57:31 PM

aicom said:
Windows will address 8 TB of RAM. The theoretical limit is much higher. That said you're right in the rest. I wasn't trying to start an argument, just providing some additional info.


Except that no version of Windows I ever heard of will use 8 TBs of RAM. Put that much in a computer running Windows 7 Ultimate and your RAM will read as 192 GBs. Put it in Server 2008 Enterprise R2 and it will only do 2 TBs and that is about the most you can hope for.

Any OS that would recognize 8 TBs of RAM probably wouldn't be very useful for gaming either and if someone paid multiple hundred thousand for a computer I would hope they would do more than game on it.

In a practical sense, the only numbers that really matter are 1x 4GBs, 2x 4GBs, and 4x 4 GBs so I still don't know why you bothered to point any of this out. Not like any of it matters 1 iota to the OP.
May 7, 2012 4:51:05 PM

As I stated above, 750W from a quality PSU should suffice, but it you are the types that like to have a lot of headroom just in case, this 850W would be perfect as an alternative.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A PSU only takes as much power as it needs, so even if the 850W is more than you end up needing, it won't matter, other than slightly lower efficiency perhaps.
May 7, 2012 5:18:46 PM

Slightly lower efficiency isn't the biggest factor in what size PSU to get or at least it shouldn't be.

A bigger concern is PSU longevity. PSUs want to be used as close to 50% load as possible for as long as possible. The farther you get away from that on either side the more rapidly the internals will deteriorate.

There are widely varying load states for the computer, but as a rule of thumb its better to sit between 40 and 60% max load than say 20% and 40% or between 80% and 100%.

This is also why it is a good idea to leave sleep mode on. The computer will shut itself down after 30 minutes of non use or whatever and the computer won't sit there on and idle far from the 50% mark all the time.

If you have to choose between being over or under the 50% mark it is better to err on the under side if possible, but best is aiming as close as possible to it.

Even if you CAN run a PSU at 100% all the time without much of an efficiency hit or any noticeable stability problems doesn't mean you should. Doing so will just put more strain on the one thing that usually breaks the soonest and can cause the most potential damage (assuming a good backup solution is in place).
May 7, 2012 10:35:30 PM

It is overpriced and is way too much power than is needed. For a decent price of $100, get the PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK 750W.
May 7, 2012 11:31:08 PM

So this wont like short out and screw my system?
May 8, 2012 1:41:17 AM

An XFX 650w would cost like 1/3 of that and power a 680 just fine.

A full system with a non-OCd 680 is like 300w. I don't even know that a 680 could be OCd so high that it would strain an XFX 650w.
May 8, 2012 1:43:58 AM

I think I need 750 watts for 680s in sli
May 8, 2012 1:55:14 AM

The XFX 650w should be fine even with SLI, but the XFX 750w would be a safer bet. Nobody would fault you for getting a 750w PSU if you insisted on SLIing them.

That being said, people might fault you for SLIing them. 2x video cards isn't all it is cracked up to be.
May 8, 2012 2:21:44 AM

Why not? It gives you like twice the performence
May 8, 2012 2:40:28 AM

It is not twice the performance. It will be like 80% performance.
May 8, 2012 4:39:20 AM

There are a dozen reasons why it is a bad idea to use 2x video cards and sometimes not even 1 why it is a good idea.

Some include:
1) Higher power bill
2) Requires bigger/more expensive PSU
3) You probably won't notice an increase in performance
4) Creates additional motherboard requirements and/or requires more expensive motherboard
5) Games often have trouble with 2x cards and/or driver/configuration issues
6) Micro Stuttering
7) Twice the likelihood of video card headaches and/or DOA/RMA/etc
8) Creates airflow problems in many configurations, possibly damaging one or both cards

That is just what I can come up with in under a minute. There are others.
May 8, 2012 9:13:34 AM

That's all very true, I maybe wrong, but the real idea between X-Fire and SLi is the combining of two lower powered cards to give the performance of a more powerful card. Hanging two or more monsters together is an ego trip, and I guess you have to pay for it in some way. I've X-fired only 2 X 128 bit 5770's and opted against upgrading to two 256 bit 6850's for many of the reasons you posted.
May 9, 2012 2:09:12 AM

Its always better to just have 1x of a more powerful card than 2x of a smaller one, imho. The only time I would use 2x cards would be if there is not a video card better than what I already had, as if somebody had a 680 and for whatever reason still wanted more performance.

Even in that case, the extra performance may or may not be realized or noticed, so there is pretty much no instance when I can really suggest using 2x video cards for graphics related tasks.

If he were needing to build some super OpenCL or folding @home system, that would be an exception since its not really about the graphics power anymore.
May 9, 2012 8:05:14 AM

In my case the 2 5770's (1090T) generally do better than the lone 6850 coupled to an 965. Power consumption seems about on par. I can see adding another 6850 would up the anty, but the 5570's are handling my 3 Way 22" eyefinity array with little difficulty. It's not full res, but it's still mighty good. Ive cranked Crysis2 up to full just to see what I am missing in terms of eye candy, but there's naught to write home about there in my opinion.

Given the price difference between the 128/256 bit, and I think the 7000 series have an even wider bus, the combination of two lesser cards is certainly, imo a viable option to explore. Especially for the casual gamer.
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