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First Build - Need Help and How Much Power?

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November 1, 2012 9:55:42 PM

Hi All,

I am from Australia and attempting to build my first computer - for around $1350. I already have a 24" 2ms Full HD Monitor and Logitech Speakers, Mouse and Keyboard.

The following is what I have come up with so far - and would love to hear any thoughts/recommended alterations - I'm not even sure all of these components would work with each other!

Probably will be using the machine for some reasonable gaming, plus also photo and video editing as well. At this stage I am not really all that interested in OCing either.

CPU: Intel i7 - 3770 (Ivy Bridge)
Mobo: ASRock z77 - Pro4 - M
RAM: Kingston DDR3 1600
GPU: HIS ATi 7950 3GB
SSD: Kingston SVP200S3 120GB
HDD: Hitachi Deskstar 7200rpm 1TB
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper TX3 EVO
Blu-Ray Burner/Internal Card Reader/Wireless Network/Windows 8
Case: Raidmax Unicorn WB Red or Blue - Still not sure what colour :) 
PSU: I was going for Thermaltake LitePower 700w but am not sure if it is enough - too much - any good? Any thoughts/comments/ideas would be appreciated!

Like I said - first build - My old "Beast" is now 7 years old, and that was just a shelf buy, so it's time for something new.

More about : build power

a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 10:05:57 PM

Everything looks to be pretty decent IMO. As you said you will be using this rig for Photo/Video editing, I will recommend sticking with the i7. However, I do have a few things that I would change. (Parts list coming as well)

1) I would highly recommend swapping out your current SSD for a OCZ Vertex 4 or Samsung 830 SSD. Generally speaking, I prefer to stay away from SandForce driven drives for multiple reasons.

2) I would highly recommend purchasing an ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 (Standard ATX, no mATX) for more expandability options.

3) I would recommend picking up the i7 3770k. Even if you say you are not interested in overclocking as of now, you may most likely pick up an interest in the future. Plus it's a nice option to have in the future when your system starts becoming 'obsolete'. Overclock your CPU by a few % and you instantly have a faster rig ;) 

4) Make sure your RAM is 1.5v. I know some Kingston HyperX memory kits are 1.65v. Intel's Ivy Bridge/Sandy Bridge CPU's warranty will automatically be voided if you use any RAM voltages higher than 1.5v.

5) I would highly recommend a Corsair TX650V2 PSU. Stay away from Thermaltake PSU's. Most are of shotty quality and most people on this forum can't come to trust their PSU's.

That's about all I can think of at the moment and I'll be back with a parts list in a few minutes :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($335.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($105.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($329.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($115.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($112.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1285.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can swap out the case if you'd like. I just threw that in there as a filler :) 
November 1, 2012 10:43:12 PM

Thanks Mocchan,

1) I didn't know the difference between SSD's - tried to do some research, and will probably use one of your suggestions.
2) I had thought about the standard ATX instead of the mATX, but can see the reason why now.
3) Still not sold on the 3770k... Not completely sure if overclocking if my cup of tea - but like you say - never say never!
4) Thanks for the hints about the RAM - this is one think that I had no idea of.
5) I will assume that 650w is enough then for this machine? So many power calculators come back with different results/ideas, and I have no idea how much would be enough. I have heard a LOT of good things about the Corsair PSU's though - I think they also come with a 5 year warranty from memory, which is an added bonus.

Thanks for your help!
Related resources
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 10:50:58 PM

bentschke said:
Thanks Mocchan,

1) I didn't know the difference between SSD's - tried to do some research, and will probably use one of your suggestions.
2) I had thought about the standard ATX instead of the mATX, but can see the reason why now.
3) Still not sold on the 3770k... Not completely sure if overclocking if my cup of tea - but like you say - never say never!
4) Thanks for the hints about the RAM - this is one think that I had no idea of.
5) I will assume that 650w is enough then for this machine? So many power calculators come back with different results/ideas, and I have no idea how much would be enough. I have heard a LOT of good things about the Corsair PSU's though - I think they also come with a 5 year warranty from memory, which is an added bonus.

Thanks for your help!


You're very welcome :) 

Even if you're not sold on the idea of overclocking (or rather, the possibilities with an unlocked CPU), I would still highly recommend purchasing it. The price difference between a non-K sku CPU and a 'k' sku CPU is very little (considering the performance gains possible). Also, once you start building rigs on your own, I tend to categorize people as 'enthusiasts' ;)  Once you're into putting rigs together yourself, I'm sure that you will start overclocking one way or the other :lol:  (I was one of those people; purchased a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition with a cheap motherboard. Decided I wanted to overclock and I was forced to purchase a new board).

Do you plan to add more GPU's in the future? If you do, I would high recommend purchasing a 750w unit. However, as your current rig stands now, in all honesty, a 550w PSU is more than enough. I personally like to leave a little bit more overhead on my PSU's so I chose a 650w unit.

Here are the calculations I did -

- i7 3770k - 77w MAX
- HD7950 - 200w MAX
- Misc components - 50-100w MAX
- Total power consumption (worst case scenario) = ~327-477w.

Also, yes, Corsair PSU's are great :)  I've never had a problem with them in the numerous rigs I've built and their warranty service is wonderful. If I'm not mistaken, Corsair PSU's are still built by Seasonic which is a very reputable brand in the PSU category.
November 5, 2012 9:35:07 AM

mocchan said:
Everything looks to be pretty decent IMO. As you said you will be using this rig for Photo/Video editing, I will recommend sticking with the i7. However, I do have a few things that I would change. (Parts list coming as well)

1) I would highly recommend swapping out your current SSD for a OCZ Vertex 4 or Samsung 830 SSD. Generally speaking, I prefer to stay away from SandForce driven drives for multiple reasons.

2) I would highly recommend purchasing an ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 (Standard ATX, no mATX) for more expandability options.

3) I would recommend picking up the i7 3770k. Even if you say you are not interested in overclocking as of now, you may most likely pick up an interest in the future. Plus it's a nice option to have in the future when your system starts becoming 'obsolete'. Overclock your CPU by a few % and you instantly have a faster rig ;) 

4) Make sure your RAM is 1.5v. I know some Kingston HyperX memory kits are 1.65v. Intel's Ivy Bridge/Sandy Bridge CPU's warranty will automatically be voided if you use any RAM voltages higher than 1.5v.

OCZ drives are not reliable irrespective of the controller - instead any other SSD manufacturer is as good as Samsung or Intel

5) I would highly recommend a Corsair TX650V2 PSU. Stay away from Thermaltake PSU's. Most are of shotty quality and most people on this forum can't come to trust their PSU's.

That's about all I can think of at the moment and I'll be back with a parts list in a few minutes :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($335.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($105.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($329.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($115.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($112.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1285.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can swap out the case if you'd like. I just threw that in there as a filler :) 

!