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Advice on gaming build

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Last response: in Systems
May 23, 2012 10:21:51 AM

Hi everyone

I'm planning a gaming build with some cash constraints as well as parts availability constraints. I'm in South Africa, components are generally 20% more expensive than the US, and brands are somewhat limited too.

I have chosen core components, but if you feel that these could be changed to give me maximum output please suggest any changes here too.

I don't want to overclock the CPU, and would like to try the new PCI 3.0.

These are the core components I have in mind:

CPU: i5-3550 Ivy (Or 3450 if the 20$ price increase is not worth it)

Mobo: ASUS P8H77-M (Crossfire ready)

GPU: 2x Club 3D Radeon HD 7770

Those are my current choices. I'm looking for advice as to the remaining components, i.e. RAM, Cooling, PSU, HDD (No SSD) and lastly a good screen.

South Africa deals mostly in Samsung screens, I'd like to go 23-24" but this is always a large part of the builds costs.

The Mobo supports 4x RAM slots, which configuration is best here to give me the least hassles? 3x4gb or 2x8gb? Or would 2x4gb be sufficient even with crossfire?

Is a CPU cooler necessary if I dont intend to overclock?

What size PSU should I look into to handle the crossfire + all components?

The reason I went for Ivy and not a 2500K is because of the GPU's PCI 3.0 option. I've read many articles on the non-existent performance increase from PCI 3.0 when running 1 screen at standard resolutions. But I'd like to play with the new 3.0 technology anyway.

If you make any suggestions I will look for the most similar products that are available to me here.

Thank you!


More about : advice gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
May 23, 2012 10:30:30 AM

3450 for the cpu, 650w for the psu and 2x4GB dual channel 1.5v memory for the RAM. Stock heat sink should do just fine. WD, Samsung, or Seagate for the hard drive. LED screen with nothing higher than 5ms response time if this build is for gaming.
May 23, 2012 1:40:38 PM

hey thanks for the reply

the last concern of mine is compatibility

I've made a list of all components (V1), just need a DVD drive. Could you give me any advice on their compatibility?

CPU: i5-3450
Mobo: ASUS P8H77-M
GPU: Club 3D Radeon HD 7770 (X2)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) CL8, 1.5V, 1600
SSD: OCZ Agility 60GB SATA 3
PSU: Coolermaster GX-650W
CASE: Corsair Carbide Series

I've checked prices and believe for a gaming PC the 60GB SSD will be good value if I'm in the habit of keeping all data on my external USB 3 500GB. The PC will be bare apart from OS and game files.

What do you think about these products and their compatibility?

Any chance the RAM with heatsinks will get in the way?

And is their a cheaper alternative for a chassis or PSU?


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May 23, 2012 2:07:58 PM

just wondering why the dual 7770s? I tend to find it much easier to get a single card of equivilent price/performance so as to avoid problems when setting up and some latency between screens
May 23, 2012 3:11:19 PM

aah, yeah good question, i know that this card delivers great performance for its price, so thats one thing in its favor, also in my currency this card is selling for R1100 approximately, so for 2 it'll come to about R2200.

If i were to get a 2gb GDDR5 256 bit card (an equivalent of these two 7770's together) that would cost me about R2900 (Altho these cards are only 128 bit)

So the price diff is not such a large factor to put me off. To be honest, I'm not too sure why... a colleague at work seems confident in his advice to me to go either 2x entry level cards (7770's or similar) or go all out on a very good card.

The prices scale really heavily in South Africa and I certainly cant afford a nice GeForce EVGA 580 (i think thats the model around 350$, it was a while since i've looked at those cards as an option)

This would be my first time to crossfire, and I'm using only 1 monitor so I'm not too sure what you mean about latency between screens?

I'm not going to be gaming anything extreme, but I like to appreciate graphics as part of the experience, at the moment I play Dota 2 and will play the new GTA when it comes at the end of the year (assuming)...

So if you have a good suggestion on a change i can make, i.e. a single card within the same price range of these 2 combined with awesome performance, then i'll consider it. (also want PCI 3.0 GPU) then at least in 2-3 years i can try source another one to SLI or crossfire, that is, if i can find the same card in that time...

May 23, 2012 3:57:52 PM

I would stick with one card. In my experience, the performance gain from a second card mid-ranged card is less than (in terms of performance) the performance from a single card at twice the price.

A second card is another point of failure and draws twice the power.

I play DOTA 2 with a newer $150.00 card... but I could play it with a 3 year old card that cost $120.00.
a b 4 Gaming
May 23, 2012 4:16:55 PM

the card at the double 7770 price range is the 7850. also i would recommend a ~500-550w psu. since your going with a single card build, there is no need for 650w(and coolermaster isnt a very good choice to start with)