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$1500-2000 for gaming/recording/editing

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May 10, 2012 3:29:02 AM

Hello, three months ago I asked a bunch of build questions and the people here were gracious enough to answer. I learned a lot but wasn't quite ready to purchase at the time. I am now though and would love to get some help.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week.

Budget Range: $1500-2000ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming/capturing gameplay/video editing and encoding

Parts Not Required: Accessories like mouse, keyboard, etc.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: Virginia, USA

Parts Preferences: No idea.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Widescreen, doesn't have to be 1080p.

Additional Comments: No desire to overclock or do liquid cooling. Willing to swap fans. Would prefer a midsize case.

Thinking about a SSD for the OS and one additional harddrive. Also needs USB 3.0 an external harddrive that I currently own.

Best solution

May 10, 2012 4:09:52 AM
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Both of those boards listed down below combo with the 3770K if you want the hyper threading.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-Com... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

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

or...

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $116.16 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-500r-mid-tower-ca... <----- another look at that case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 - $89.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 15% off w/ promo code PCPMK15OFF, ends 5/21
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $379.98 save: $10.00
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that board w/benchmarks

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $374.98 save: $20.00 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

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... $41.99 FREE SHIPPING
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $21.27 & 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/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili... $334.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card HD7870-DC2-2GD5

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $102.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

or....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $104.99 FREE SHIPPING
ADATA S510 Series AS510S3-120GM-O 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 - $149.99 after mail-in rebate card
Asus ML228H 21.5" 1920X1080 2ms Full HD LED BackLight LED Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 10,000,000 :1 (ASCR)
May 10, 2012 4:16:37 AM
Related resources
May 10, 2012 4:18:09 AM

Coolermaster HAF 912 - Case is all about preference. This one would be good and at a good price though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77 Pro4 - Good mobo. If you need any special features not on this board let me know.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i7-2600 - This is only because the i7-3770 is sold out on newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you have a microcenter near you, get an i7-3770 there instead: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

16GB - 2x8GB Crucial Ballistics Sport - Good ram with a low profile.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sapphire 7970 - 680s are always out of stock so I'd go with this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair TX650m - Enough power to do CF 7970s.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 830 256GB - Very fast, even with uncompressables like video. You don't need 256GB but it woould be very helpful.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung Barracuda 2TB Green - for storage
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dell ultrasharp 1200p 24 inches - awesome screen for editing and gaming
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

After the promo code on the screen and hdd it comes to $1927 before shipping and taxes. Less if you buy the i7-3770 at micro center.

edit: I hadn't seen the other posts when I posted this but I still prefer mine if you are serious about video editing. If it's a small hobby and you only work on small scale projects then Why_me's build is definitely better.
May 10, 2012 4:36:05 AM

slicedtoad said:

Corsair TX650m - Enough power to do CF 7970s.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


well i don't think so-
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-crossfire-...

Quote:
Here is Guru3D's power supply recommendation:

Radeon HD 7970 - On your average system the card requires you to have a 550 Watt power supply unit.
Radeon HD 7970 Crossfire - On your average system the cards require you to have a 750 Watt power supply unit as minimum.
If you are going to overclock GPU or processor, then we do recommend you purchase something with some more stamina.
May 10, 2012 4:58:10 AM

Quote:
Measured power consumption for two cards in Crossfire

System in IDLE = 166W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 567W
Difference (GPU load) = 401W
Add average IDLE wattage ~6W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 407 Watts


^ says it fits a 650W PSU just fine. Their 750W recommendation is in case of low 12V voltage PSUs.

My calculation:
7970 TDP = 230W
i7-2600 TDP = 95W, i7-3770 TDP = 77W

That's 537-555W needed on the 12v rail for crossfire. Rest of the system is less than 30W.
tx650 has a 648W 12v rail. It would run at 85% capacity. The tx650 is 84% efficient at 85% load. Everything is perfect. You would even have some OC room, though op isn't ocing.

tell me if you need links to where i got those numbers.
May 10, 2012 5:05:39 AM

slicedtoad said:
Quote:
Measured power consumption for two cards in Crossfire

System in IDLE = 166W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 567W
Difference (GPU load) = 401W
Add average IDLE wattage ~6W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 407 Watts


^ says it fits a 650W PSU just fine. Their 750W recommendation is in case of low 12V voltage PSUs.

My calculation:
7970 TDP = 230W
i7-2600 TDP = 95W, i7-3770 TDP = 77W

That's 537-555W needed on the 12v rail for crossfire. Rest of the system is less than 30W.
tx650 has a 648W 12v rail. It would run at 85% capacity. The tx650 is 84% efficient at 85% load. Everything is perfect. You would even have some OC room, though op isn't ocing.

tell me if you need links to where i got those numbers.

A few things. This is a $2,000 build. You don't skimp using a $50 case with no front 3.0 USB ports, you don't use a SB, and you don't go low on the psu. You get one with some head room if anything. Better to go high then cut it to the bone.
May 10, 2012 5:11:24 AM

slicedtoad said:
Quote:
Measured power consumption for two cards in Crossfire

System in IDLE = 166W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 567W
Difference (GPU load) = 401W
Add average IDLE wattage ~6W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 407 Watts


^ says it fits a 650W PSU just fine. Their 750W recommendation is in case of low 12V voltage PSUs.

My calculation:
7970 TDP = 230W
i7-2600 TDP = 95W, i7-3770 TDP = 77W

That's 537-555W needed on the 12v rail for crossfire. Rest of the system is less than 30W.
tx650 has a 648W 12v rail. It would run at 85% capacity. The tx650 is 84% efficient at 85% load. Everything is perfect. You would even have some OC room, though op isn't ocing.

tell me if you need links to where i got those numbers.


i agree that total amps on 12v rail is the crucial factor but i won't go with a 650w unit on a $2k build.
May 10, 2012 5:25:44 AM

I put the SB part there as a kind of a place holder and in case he only wants newegg. I mentioned he should get a 3770 from microcenter. Between an i5-3570 and an i7-2600 the i7-2600 would be better for video editing, no? Gaming performance would just slightly less.

yeah, you are right about the case, I went too cheap there.

For the PSU, the tx650 has plenty of headroom. The build is a single 7970 not CF. That means it is only using 230W+77W=307W on the 12V rail. That's only 47% 12v load. Or around 52% total load. My math above was just saying that you could do cf 7970s. I think it's unlikely that the op will need to though.
If you wanted to spend more you would get a more efficient one. A 750W wouldn't be out of the question, but higher is useless for anything other that 3way.

@hellfire, just saw your post
The wattage isn't what decides the quality. You get the wattage you need and spend as much as you want on quality. If op prefers very efficient PSUs, there are plenty of expensive gold rated and well reviewed 650W PSUs. PSU efficiency isn't a key thing for most people though, so I grabbed one that is still very good but also well priced.
May 13, 2012 7:52:45 PM

Okay, after looking over a bunch of stuff.

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

Probably will have to get the the CPU from Amazon as well as a few other items that are priced better there.

I do have a few questions though.

I saw people recommend additional fans. Are those fans that I'm supposed to use in place of the CPU stock fan? Or are these fans that mount onto the case easily? I'm not sure how I should do it so I didn't put any fans on the wishlist.

One of the harddrives is labeled baredrive. I assume this means I need to get the SATA cable. Or do all the wiring that I need come from the motherboard? Do I need to buy cables for anything else? Like an HDMI cable or something? The PSU should come with a cable as well, right?

Is my motherboard choice okay? I believe it matches the form factor, the PSU, and the CPU. But does it work with the case so I can wire functional front panels?

Any glaring bottlenecks or possible problems?
May 13, 2012 8:22:26 PM

Gauze said:
Okay, after looking over a bunch of stuff.

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

Probably will have to get the the CPU from Amazon as well as a few other items that are priced better there.

I do have a few questions though.

I saw people recommend additional fans. Are those fans that I'm supposed to use in place of the CPU stock fan? Or are these fans that mount onto the case easily? I'm not sure how I should do it so I didn't put any fans on the wishlist.

One of the harddrives is labeled baredrive. I assume this means I need to get the SATA cable. Or do all the wiring that I need come from the motherboard? Do I need to buy cables for anything else? Like an HDMI cable or something? The PSU should come with a cable as well, right?

Is my motherboard choice okay? I believe it matches the form factor, the PSU, and the CPU. But does it work with the case so I can wire functional front panels?

Any glaring bottlenecks or possible problems?

A few obvious changes is all.

That Asrock Pro 4 is meant for a single card build, it runs dual cards @ x4. You want the Asrock extreme4 so you have the option to add another card later on.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Next is the RAM. You want low profile RAM so you don't impede any after market heat sink. Look at one of these sets.

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

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

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

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



Here's a card worth considering.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $399.99 FREE SHIPPING
MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5818/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6... <---- gtx 670 review w/benchmarks

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99 FREE SHIPPING
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+

This is the fan that snaps onto the back of any and all Cooler Master 120mm cpu heat sinks. It's cheaper at amazon.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $11.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER R4-BMBS-20PK-R0 Blade Master 120mm Case Fan
May 13, 2012 9:11:58 PM

Oh, never thought about ram profile. Okay, that makes sense. I'll change that since the price is so close.

I'll change the mobo as well.

I'm still a bit confused about the aftermarket fans and heatsinks. Is the main thing to replace the stock heatsink and fan? And possibly add in additional fans for preference?

I additionally remember having to individually connect the pins for the front USB 2.0 connectors the last time I built a computer. Would I have to do something similarly for the the case that I picked?

I see that the board has the internal connectors for it.

Is there additional cable/cords that I need to buy?
May 13, 2012 9:15:11 PM

Gauze said:
Oh, never thought about ram profile. Okay, that makes sense. I'll change that since the price is so close.

I'll change the mobo as well.

I'm still a bit confused about the aftermarket fans and heatsinks. Is the main thing to replace the stock heatsink and fan? And possibly add in additional fans for preference?

Their mainly for over clocking, but use them on builds that don't even over clock for the fact they run cooler, they run quieter, and they are twice the quality of a stock intel heat sink.
May 13, 2012 10:54:02 PM

Okay, I've updated the list. Should that be all I need?
May 13, 2012 11:40:27 PM

Gauze said:
Okay, I've updated the list. Should that be all I need?

Looks good but I would look at some benchmarks for the gtx 670 including the review done on this site. The 670 stomps the 7970 in most games and the few games the 7970 wins out, it does by only a very slim margin. Throw in the fact that the 670 is cheaper than the 7970 yet mops the floor with that card and it's hard to pass on it.
May 14, 2012 3:26:43 AM

yeah, unless you need 3GB of ram (which you don't) the 670 makes more sense atm. nvidia chose an excellent price point.
May 21, 2012 3:29:05 AM

Best answer selected by Gauze.
May 25, 2012 5:35:58 AM

In the middle of building but I have a few questions.

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

All it says it "SATA" for the blu ray drive. Is it Sata 1/2/3? If I were to connect it to a Sata 2 port, would it work?

Graphics card has a bunch of options for the connecter from the PSU. I assume I want the 8 pin. Also, I have what looks like 6 pin connector with another 2 pin connector attached to it. I assume using the two together properly is the same thing as a 8 pin connector. Is that correct?

There is another 8 pin connector from the PSU but it is blue. I assume it is the ATX 12V connector for the mobo. Am I correct to assume that is what it is and that both ATX Connectors have to be connected to the mobo?
May 25, 2012 6:36:54 AM

It's sata 2. It will work in either a sata 2 or 3 port. You don't have any sata I ports.

You got the PC power and cooling PSU right? Here's a reference: http://www.pcpower.com/downloads/mkII_750_manual_3878.p...

One 6+2 pin and one 6 pin are connected to the GPU. There are a total of 2x6+2pin cables and 2x6pin connectors on that PSU.

The 8 pin is connected to the mobo. There should only be one 8 pin.

GPU connectors are red and motherboard connectors are blue (also the big black one).

Whatever you do, don't force anything that doesn't fit. If you shove a 8 pin mobo connector into the gpu, bad things happen. The pins are keyed so they shouldn't fit in the wrong places.
May 25, 2012 12:03:23 PM

Alright, thanks for the answers. I just wanted to make sure my assumptions were right.
May 25, 2012 6:28:46 PM

After I have everything connected properly, would I have to check/change any of the values in BIOS?
May 25, 2012 7:31:26 PM

Are you overclocking? If not, you shouldn't need to touch the bios except to update it, if it needs it, like why_me said.

If you are overclocking, google a guide.
May 26, 2012 1:00:42 AM

Okay, I just wasn't sure. A co-worker said that I want have to make changes to the bios depending on the processor/ram that I put in but I wasn't sure if that right.
May 26, 2012 6:05:38 AM

Looks like I did all the hardware properly. Confused by the bios.

Ram has a screen that has:

XMP 1.2 Profile 1: DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1.50V
Load XMP Setting (set to Auto)
DRAM Frequency DDR3-1333 (set to Auto)

Why does it have DRAM Frequency as DDR3-1333?
May 28, 2012 1:00:08 AM

because sandy bridge cpus have a "max" 1333mhz speed. 1600mhz is considered overclocking (sort of). Load xmp profile 1. It should set it to 1600mhz
!