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New Build Components - Thoughts and Advice

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  • New Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
June 15, 2012 12:55:41 PM

Let me start by thanking the contributors of these forums. I have read many threads from this website whilst deciding on the elements of my new build. and the contributions and discussions have been a significant help along the way. Whilst I have read many threads this is my first post.. so please be gentle - I've layed my question out in accordance with supplied guidance so hopefully it provides sufficient detail for you folks in the know to comment.

Budget- no real budget in mind. I'm looking for a system that can deliver good performance without venturing into the high end market. If a change to a slightly more expensive component would provide significant improvement then I would certainly consider it.

Usage - I'm looking to build sytem at the of the top end of the mid performance range to provide a system for all round general purpose use; one of the primary uses will be photo editing / management, though not to a professional level (so cutting edge of photo editting hardware is not required). It is likely to get used for gaming and watching movies but it is certainly not a primary requirement but it would be nice to have the capacity to do so.

Parts - I've still got to do some digging around to find the best prices, but the below are the components I anticipate using.

MOBO - Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Socket 1155 VGA DVI HDMI 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
PROCESSOR - Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
GRAPHICS - MSI R7850 Power AMD/ATI Graphics Card - 2GB
SSD - OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive
HDD - Seagate 2TB Barracuda Hard Drive
Optical Drive - LG BH10LS38 Blu-ray Writer - OEM with Software
RAM - Corsair Memory XMS3 16GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Quad Channel Desktop also considering the 2x 8GB option.
CASE - Corsair Carbide Series 500R Grey/Black Mid Tower Case
PSU - Coolermaster RS600-AMBAD3 Silent Pro M 600W Modular Power Supply (PSU)
I think that captures everything. I'll be using keyboard and mouse etc from the old PC. I'll be installing the Windows 7 retail pack (as it sounds like the OEM system is no longer available to enthusiasts).

Preferred Website - None. I've still got to shop around for best prices - the above links are simply to identify the specific part.

Country - United Kingdom

Parts Preference - None. Best value to performance.

Overclocking - If the capability is there it may be an option for the future, but certainly not an immediate concern.

SLI / Crossfire - I do not expect to do this.

Monitor Resolution - Dell U2711 - 2560 x 1440 pixels

Additional Comments / questions -
1) My main question surrounds the GPU? is there something more appropriate? I don't want to buy the latest and greatest as it is supferfluous to my needs but neither do I want something that will be outdated in a month's time.
2) Will I really see any benefit from an SSD with this spec system or would traditional HDD with a mechanical drive suffice?
3) The Mobo from the link above comes with a free CPU cooling fan (Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2. I've always stuck to the ones supplied with the processor - I assume (and perhaps this is a daft question) this will be superior?


Any other comments or general notes on the build would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

More about : build components thoughts advice

June 15, 2012 1:07:46 PM

The build looks great, but I would get a better brand of SSD, OCZ seems to be the low end with more problems.

I would also upgrade your power supply to a 700-750w, just to be safe.
June 15, 2012 1:15:15 PM

For the GPU, I would suggest a GTX 670. It's a little more expensive, but gives you a lot of bang for your.. pound? :p 
The 7850 won't perform that good in newer games, so if you can afford a GTX 670 I would go that way.

The 670 is also very efficent, so considering you don't plan to do SLI you will never have to go beyond a 600W PSU. Even 500-550W PSUs will do.

-----

For the SSD - get one. Your computer will boot quicker, as will any applications installed on it. Use your HDD for all your storage, and SSD for OS and applications.
I have a Crucial m4 128GB myself, very happy with it. There are other good models out there too!

-----

That CPU fan will absolutely do, but if you won't be going for that motherboard, and will have to purchase a CPU cooler yourself, get a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. This cooler gives you as much bang for your pound as you can get ;) 
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June 15, 2012 1:36:33 PM

Not a bad setup - I personally won't purchase an OCZ SSD after all the headaches I had with my Vertex 2 but I understand that they're a good bang for your buck selection if you don't have any critical on those drives. A SSD will show a world of difference in day to day usage and I bet you'll never want to go back to a HDD as your OS disk.

I personally prefer Nvidia to AMD for graphics, but that 7850 should be sufficient for photo editing. Nvidia doesn't have any options within the 600 series at that price point, but a 570 would probably be more than sufficient. I would probably stick with the 7850.

Aftermarket coolers aren't that crazy, just make sure to watch a youtube video on applying thermal paste on CPU on the side adjacent to the CPU cooler. There is a fine line between too much and not enough, but it's not an exact science.

All in all, not a bad selection - I dig the monitor
June 15, 2012 6:38:49 PM

Many Thanks for your comments, folks. I'm glad I asked the question as in particular, I'd somehow missed the general comments regarding issues with the OCZ SSDs on my first look.

I've had another look, and quite like the look of the Samsung 128GB 830 Series SSD . Do you folks generally agree this is a better bet than the OCZ? The alternative would be the Crucial M4 which I could go for if it is considarably better. Thoughts welcomed.

nafoni - I'll take a look at the GTX 670s, but at £100 more will I be seeing a significant improvement for the sort of things I plan to do?

June 15, 2012 8:14:29 PM

I had horrible issues with OCZ's Vertex2 line - 3 dead drives within 3 months of purchase.
I subsequently have been purchasing Crucial's M4 line (older laptops that use SATAII ports and don't need crazy speed), Samsung's 830 series & Intel's 520 series. I have a 120GB Intel 520 in my desktop and it's smoking fast. I haven't had an issue with it yet. I also have the Samsung 830 in my laptop and it too has been bulletproof. I notice the Intel being slightly faster, but it's mostly when I am moving larger files from my SSD to my secondary slave drive. Regardless, they're both excellent drives and they're both very reliable.

The 670 would be a great asset to your system, but unless you're going to be doing 3D rendering or some serious gaming I think the 570 or the 7850 you selected would be more than sufficient.
June 15, 2012 8:24:33 PM

Lotso10 said:
nafoni - I'll take a look at the GTX 670s, but at £100 more will I be seeing a significant improvement for the sort of things I plan to do?

Depends on how much you will be gaming, which games you will be playing, what settings you will run the games at, and how smooth you want the games to run. Look at benchmarks to get an idea of how games will work with different GPUs.
June 15, 2012 8:25:39 PM

Drop to 8GB of ram and use the extra money to upgrade to a HD 7870 or a GTX 570.
June 15, 2012 8:31:58 PM

7850 on a 2560x1440 monitor? that is a bad idea, change to a cheaper cpu, less ram, and get a higher end gpu, 670 should be nice.
June 15, 2012 9:54:58 PM

I wouldn't go lower than a 3570K, but I agree that you could drop down to 8GB RAM.

Also, are you sure that you need a Blu-Ray optical drive?

June 16, 2012 12:25:59 PM

OK folks, I'd say from my original posting the SSD and cooler questions have been answered; the SSD from my original parts list being replaced by a Samsung 830 series. (toss up between that and the crucial M4, but the Samsung shaded it on price).

Do I need a blu-ray writer? probably not, but I will need a writer of some kind, so I may as well pick one with the additional capability that it provides. I accept it's a luxury item. Also, I've been advised by a friend in the photography business not to consider anything less than 16GB RAM if I'm considering doing any level of photo editing; whilst 8 would suffice, 16 makes things so much better plus it's cheap (relatively).

That leaves the GPU. I'd pretty much decided to run with the 7850 identified in my spec above, but it's out of stock with no ETA scheduled, so it's back to the drawing board. damnit. Right, so after a bit of a search I stumbled across the following..
Palit GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 DisplayPort HDMI Dual DVI PCI-E Graphics Card - It's the Lowest priced 670 card (in the UK) that I've found. However, I've never heard of Palit (it's been a while since I built a pc) nor have I found any reviews for this card to know whether it's any good. It is at the very top end of what I'd be willing to pay. Is it worth a punt? or is would I be better sticking to a 'known/review quantity' in the cheaper price bracket... particularly given my likely use? One alternative would be something like Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom 1280MB NVIDIA Graphics Card

Ahh this is all too confusing. :( 


June 16, 2012 3:35:35 PM

So for the GPU...

First, take a look at this handy hierarchy.

As you can see, the GTX 670 is on tier 3, and the 7850 is on tier 5, meaning there is one tier between these two. In this 4th tier, you will see the following cards: GTX 580, HD 5970, HD 7870, HD 7950.

Most of these cards are cheaper and weaker than the GTX 670, and more expensive and powerful than the 7850.

If you still are unsure, I would probably go for one of these tier 4 cards.

Nvidia fan? Get a 580.
AMD/ATI fan? Get a 7850 or 7970 (I would not go 5970).

However, if you are pretty sure that you won't be doing much gaming at all, a 7850 will be perfectly fine.
June 16, 2012 5:55:30 PM

nafoni said:
So for the GPU...

First, take a look at this handy hierarchy.

As you can see, the GTX 670 is on tier 3, and the 7850 is on tier 5, meaning there is one tier between these two. In this 4th tier, you will see the following cards: GTX 580, HD 5970, HD 7870, HD 7950.

Most of these cards are cheaper and weaker than the GTX 670, and more expensive and powerful than the 7850.

If you still are unsure, I would probably go for one of these tier 4 cards.

Nvidia fan? Get a 580.
AMD/ATI fan? Get a 7850 or 7970 (I would not go 5970).

However, if you are pretty sure that you won't be doing much gaming at all, a 7850 will be perfectly fine.


Awesome response :D . Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my thread with such an informative reply. Some more reviewing and research to be done on my part now, but I think I'm pretty much there. I used to play a lot of games, but not so much so recently, so the gamer in me is urging me to buy something with decent performance in case I return to it in the future, whilst my realist side is telling me to only buy what I need! Decisions, decisions :) 
June 16, 2012 10:36:08 PM

Lotso10 said:
Awesome response :D . Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my thread with such an informative reply. Some more reviewing and research to be done on my part now, but I think I'm pretty much there. I used to play a lot of games, but not so much so recently, so the gamer in me is urging me to buy something with decent performance in case I return to it in the future, whilst my realist side is telling me to only buy what I need! Decisions, decisions :) 

No problems :)  We're all here to help!

Feel free to post again when you have closed down your search/made up your mind :) 

Built my own computer a couple of weeks ago, and I'm sure you'll end up happy just like I did!

In my opinion, it's better to get something a little bit better rather than something a little bit worse, but obviously it all depends on your wallet.

Good luck with your build! :) 
June 17, 2012 2:29:34 PM

With current games, a 570 is more than capable of shouldering the load fairly well. They're usually around $100 less in the US. I don't like the 580 because they need a lot of power and they're just plain loud. 670 would be a better buy than the 580. I would go with the 570 and SLI down the road if you think you need more performance.

I am waiting patiently for them to announce a 660 and see what the price difference between it and the 670 are before I make my upgrade choice. I am using a 560 at the moment in my desktop rig and it's still handling my games well at full 1080p.
June 19, 2012 7:04:36 PM

Right, after much looking I think I've made up my mind. I know it's overkill for my needs, but a recent price drop on the below means it's not actually that much more than the others GPU's I've been looking at - hopefully it future proofs the system a bit.. probably not :( . I think that completes my build choices though. :o 

EVGA 2GB GeForce GTX 670 NVIDIA Graphics Card
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-evga-gtx-670-28nm-pc...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-915mhz-boost-980mhz-cores-1344-2x-dl-dvi-dp-hd
!