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I7 K system, solid or should I save and upgrade more?

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Last response: in Systems
June 5, 2012 7:34:08 PM

Basically this is my current wishlist build I will be doing in about a month, just trying to get some thoughts from the community before I do it. This setup is mainly to game on, I also like to play in PS, Vegas, and Flash so I feel the hyperthreading in the i7 is worth the upgrade from i5. Please give any feedback, thoughts on specific hardware, etc... I don't mind pushing off this build another 2 weeks if it will be worth it

NZXT Switch 810 Gunmetal Finish

MSI z77 LGA 1155 MoBo
option 2 for mobo, cheaper alternative
Asus z77 LGA 1155 Mobo

MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III OC

ThermalTake 750w Bronze

i7 2600k

Crucial M4 64g SSD

16g Crucial Ballistix sport 1600

Seagate Barracuda 1tb 7200rpm

Asus 21.5" Full HD

Mionix Naos 3200

Corsair H100 LCS

with a basic 24x dvd burner, and still haven't decided on keyboard yet. Thinking Das Keyboard Ultimate cuz it looks so good. Also plan on upgrading the soundcard to a 7.1 but haven't picked one yet. It will cost about $1700 for this setup depending on when I order with all the promos on newegg, but I feel it should be a very solid build for the next few years until I need to upgrade to IB

More about : system solid save upgrade

June 6, 2012 4:18:19 AM

adgjlsfhk said:
Downgrade to an I5 and get this graphics card. Overall, it will give you a more balanced system. You also only need a 600 watt power supply and 8 gigs of ram. Put these savings into a better ssd (maybe 120 gigabytes)

to properly utilize all that power in the 670 wouldn't I need an IB cpu to run the PCI 3.0? I also know that 750w is overkill and so is the 16gb of ram but I'm trying to future proof my system a bit. The ssd is being purchased with the idea of it being a bootdrive and nothing else so I think 64gb should be plenty, unless you can give me a reason why having 120gb would be better. I'm new to ssd's and never had one in my system before so I don't really know the proper way to utilize their power. My longterm goals were to eventually upgrade to triple wide monitors so I know I need to SLI for that, and was planning on just using two 570's for that because it should be a cheaper alternative. This is in 6+ months of course otherwise I would just grab a HD 7xxx from AMD and use eyefinity.
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June 6, 2012 4:58:56 AM

The Thermaltake TR2 750w power supply is trash.

Stick with Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Silverstone, Enermax, OCZ and Antec for a quality unit. For a single GTX 670 a 550w power supply is fine. You only need 750 watts if you plan on adding a second card in Sli.

If you really want 16GB of RAM save some money and get a 4 x 4GB kit.

No need to spend over $100 on a CPU cooler for a 2600K. A $30 Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo will get you to the 4.5Ghz sweet spot just as easily. There are no clearance issues with the GSkill RAM I linked to either.

I recommend a 120GB SSD. To truly get the most of an SSD you want all your programs on it as well as the OS. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Office 2007, other programs and about 10 Steam games on my 120GB SSD and have about 30GB free. I just uninstall games I am not playing and reinstall if I want to go back to one. Very easy with Steam.

You do NOT need an Ivy Bridge CPU to use a GTX 670. Ivy is about 7% faster clock for clock than Sandy Bridge but Sandy generally overclocks better and that negates the slight speed advantage. A GTX 670 does not need PCI-E 3.0 to max out.

All that being said it's too early to plan a build for 6 months in the future. You should start picking parts about 2 months out. The GTX 660/660 Ti should be out in 6 months with GTX 570 like or better performance ( hopefully ) by then.


Best solution

June 6, 2012 5:14:05 AM

For gaming, the graphics card is the most important component.
I would suggest this GTX670:

PCIE 2.0/3.0 is irrelevant. No graphics card now pushes the limits of 2.0, let alone 3.0.
If you run sli, the slots will run at half speed, X8/X8, and even that is not really a problem.

Today, there is not much value in upgrading a current sandy bridge cpu in favor if an ivy bridge cpu.
But, for a new build, I would definitely go ivy bridge. 3570K.

How relevant "I also like to play in PS, Vegas, and Flash" is, I can't say. How is hyperthreading important to that?
If it really is, then look at the 3770K. But the current 3570K is one heck of a good cpu, and I doubt that you would find it lacking. It is 5% stronger, clock for clock than sandy bridge, and certainly less expensive than a 2600K. Use that trade off for a GTX670, and your gaming will be much better.

You will be able to run triple monitors, and then decide if you need a graphics upgrade. The GTX670 is so close to the GTX680, that it would not make sense to do that. Your choices would be to spend another $400 for sli, but that would require you to buy a more expensive motherboard now, along with a more powerful psu on speculation. I suggest planning on selling your initial card and replacing it with a single much stronger card. Today, that is a GTX690, a very expensive card. But, in total, not to different from sli.
More likely, the real Kepler top end card will be with us by the end of the year, making that the triple monitor gaming card of choice.

You have picked expensive motherboards, primarily to plan for sli. If you will upgrade via a single graphics card route, you are looking at cutting that cost in half. Even a M-ATX motherboard will do. Actually, other than graphics, how many of the expansion slots will you actually use.

My short list of quality psu brands would not include thermaltake.
I would look first at Seasonic, Antec, PC P&C, Corsair, and XFX.

You have picked a very expensive case. If you love it fine. But, realize that you can buy a equally well cooled and competent case for half that.

I do not much like the all in one liquid coolers. They are expensive, noisy, and in a well ventilated case, they are no better than a good air cooler. In fact, they may cool the cpu well, but the hot air gets dumped into the case where it heats up the graphcics cards. Save a bunch, and get a $20 cm hyper212. If you want the best $85 buys you a Noctua NH-D14.

For gaming, 8gb is fine. If you will be running 64 bit enabled apps, then 16gb is good. Ram is cheap.

Your link to to the monitor is wrong. Regardless, I think you can do better on the monitor. I think 21.3" is a bit small.
A monitor is one of the more "future proof" items you can buy.
If you are going to triple monitors, consider buying them all 3 at the same time. That way you will know that they match.
As a added thought, why not consider a 27" 2560 x 1440 type monitor and forget triple monitors?

How much hard drive storage will you need?
A 120gb SSD will hold the os and 6-8 games. Start with that, and add a hard drive for storage later.
If you do not have a need for hard drive storage for large files like video's, get a 180 or 240 ssd and be done with it.
I suggest Intel 520 series or Samsung 830 series for reliability. You will pay more for them.
From a performance point of view, all modern SSD's perform about the same for normal desktop and gaming operations.
Once you have one, you will never build without a SSD.
June 6, 2012 5:35:33 AM

Wow, I was going to respond but now I don't have to after that great post.
June 6, 2012 7:27:08 AM

Best answer selected by dobrehab.
June 6, 2012 7:37:21 AM

thanks for the response, played around on newegg and after swapping out for the 3570 I was able to finally make a 670 feasible for this build

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120gb
CPU: i5 3570k
MoBo: ASUS P8Z68
Fan:Noctua D14
PS:Seasonic M12II 620w

Upgraded to a 24" monitor too but that really maxed out my budget. Another question, is it better to run 8gb x 2 or 4gb x 4 to achieve that 16gb of ram? And would upgrading to 1866 make a substantial difference over 1600?
June 6, 2012 7:43:56 AM

Much better!

It really does not matter if you run 2 x 8Gb or 4 x 4GB. To me 4 x 4Gb is cheaper so I would go with that.

Due to the memory controller being on the CPU there is no real benefit to going over DDR3 1600 speeds. Just make sure it's 1.5v RAM.
June 6, 2012 12:29:59 PM

For 16gb, I prefer a single 16gb kit of 2 x 8gb, if the price difference is not great.

1) When you oc, it is easier for a motherboard to manage voltages on two sticks vs 4.
2) You preserve the option to go to 32gb.

The current Intel cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.

The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.

Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.

Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.

In fact tall heat spreaders are a negative because they can impact some cpu coolers.
Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.

Read this Anandtech article on memory scaling:
---------------bottom line------------

DDR3 1600 is the sweet spot.

Good luck.