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First time building, looking to play games and picture/video editing

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July 21, 2012 5:19:59 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within the next couple of weeks.

Budget Range: $900-$1000 before tax and rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Heroes of Newerth, Starcraft 2, Diablo III, etc), surfing the internet, watching movies, picture editing

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade:
-Motherboard, Processor, RAM, SSD drive, DVD drive, Power supply, Heatsink

-Intel core i7 3770 3.4 Ghz LGA 1155 Processor ($250)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

-Asus P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 z68 ATX Intel mobo ($110)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

-Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Universal CPU cooler heatsink ($20)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

-120 Gb Solid State Drive - will choose after motherboard

-8 Gb of RAM

-Graphic Card - Not sure how to choose but we're looking for something that can handle gaming for the next few years

-Power supply - Would 600 Watts be too much?


Do you need to buy OS: Yes Windows 7 (with the $15 upgrade for Windows 8)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and microcenter

Location: Tustin, CA

Parts Preferences: Looking to upgrade to Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz LGA 1155 processor

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure what that is

Your Monitor Resolution:
-Currently set at 1280x768 but it can go up to 1360x768 (19" Samsung LCD)
-Looking to dual screen in the future

Additional Comments: Mainly building to game and watch movies. We're amateur photographers but learning how to edit pictures and video.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Our laptops is very old. Approximately 6 years. Sony Viao with Intel Petium 4 processor.

This is our first time building. We're looking to get the best bang for our money while getting a good system to last us longer than our laptop has lasted. We also already bought our case (Coolermaster Storm Scout) for $65: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Any advice on our current hardware that we are looking at or should substitute, please let us know. Thank you very much. :) 

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July 21, 2012 5:57:52 PM
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Don't purchase a 3770 with a Z68 board - the CPU will not be fully utilized. Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($246.97 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1188.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-21 13:55 EDT-0400)

A bit over budget but that will give you a very powerful system. If you want to keep it under $1K for now - drop the storage system and go with a 1TB 7200 RPM drive.
July 21, 2012 6:15:20 PM

G-Unit's build is very good. +1.

Just more money saving tips. If you don't plan to xFire in the future, then you will be fine with 550-600W PSU (SLI/xFire is when you run two or more graphics cards).

If no overclocking, you can get the non-K version of the i7 3770 and then get the an H77 motherboard. I don't see why not though cause its basically a free performance upgrade; just saying.
Related resources
July 21, 2012 9:19:14 PM

PSU: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 69.99
Motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 179.99
CPU: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 134.99
RAM: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 58.99
SSD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 114.99
HD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 89.99
Video Card: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 249.99
Adapter: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 39.99
Monitor: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 129.99
Speakers: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 24.99
Keyboard and Mouse: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 39.99
OS: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-pr... FREE

Just save your money and get the full version of Windows 8 when it comes out, and rock the RC till then…

This has EVERYTHING you could want, and if you need to change some of it feel free, but you will be VERY pleased with this build. It fits your budget alright, if you want to save some money just step down a little with the motherboard, but it gives you a lot of overclockability and expansion room in the future.

Total: 1133.89
July 21, 2012 11:11:39 PM

JefferyD90 said:
PSU: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 69.99
Motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 179.99
CPU: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 134.99
RAM: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 58.99
SSD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 114.99
HD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 89.99
Video Card: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 249.99
Adapter: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 39.99
Monitor: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 129.99
Speakers: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 24.99
Keyboard and Mouse: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... 39.99
OS: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-pr... FREE

Just save your money and get the full version of Windows 8 when it comes out, and rock the RC till then…

This has EVERYTHING you could want, and if you need to change some of it feel free, but you will be VERY pleased with this build. It fits your budget alright, if you want to save some money just step down a little with the motherboard, but it gives you a lot of overclockability and expansion room in the future.

Total: 1133.89


An FX-6100 will in no way shape or form perform anywhere even remotely close to the i7-3770K for what the OP wants. The only thing I'd recommend on that build is the video card but otherwise there's nothing else on that build I would recommend. Thermaltake is a brand that is not known for its' power supplies as they have horrendous fail rates.
July 22, 2012 12:06:46 AM

g-unit1111 said:
An FX-6100 will in no way shape or form perform anywhere even remotely close to the i7-3770K for what the OP wants. The only thing I'd recommend on that build is the video card but otherwise there's nothing else on that build I would recommend. Thermaltake is a brand that is not known for its' power supplies as they have horrendous fail rates.

Once again G-unit, read the reviews on the PSU from ThermalTake... Every last one of them are 4 stars+

Like this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
It has 84 people that say 4.7 stars...

Or this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
That has 302 people saying 4.6 stars...

And that covers both the expensive 750 watt PSU all the way down to the cheap 400 watt ones... Would you like to look at some more?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Actually the lowest rated one is this one
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
at 3.5 stars but only 2 reviews... (and if you will read the review he actually compliments it, I dont know why he didnt give it the approprate star rating)

Please do not bash a product or company unless you have more people to back you up... I just named about 500 people that like ThermalTake PSU's...

Let me finish tho by saying I really like your builds, they are some of the best Intel build that are sudjested on here, I am simply giving people the options. And honestly what game can a buldozer CPU not pull acceptable fram rates on? You will sit here for at least 2 years before you can answer that question because even the 4100 can pull 60+ fps on just about ANY game. The ONLY thing that they do not exceede in is single threaded programs... but when ran in multi threaded programs they do everything AMD promised, and then some.


No on to the OP, If you like Intel, G-Units setup is VERY nice. If you like a AMD setup, the one I sudjest is the way to go. HAPPY BUILDING!!!
July 22, 2012 5:02:04 AM

Thanks l0v3rboi for the explanation. I don't think we'll be running two or more graphic cards in the future although what are the benefits of doing so? As for overclocking, I understand the basics of it but seeing as this will be a first time build and we've had to really save our money for this, I don't want to take the chance of doing something wrong and seeing the whole build go down the drain =[ Maybe in the future when we're more financially stable!

g-unit1111 - Thank you very much for your insightful help. I was wondering why a z68 motherboard wouldn't work as well as a z77? When I went to Microcenter in Tustin to check our parts, the associate kept pushing me towards the z77 boards but was unable to give me a good reason except it's good and you should. I didn't see overclocking in the future for this build so I went with the 3770 instead of the 3770k; plus it was cheaper. Do you think I can build it with just the SSD right now and get it running? Maybe in a few months when we have more money, we can add another hard drive?

JefferyD90 - thanks for your build! However, I've always been skeptical of AMD and have always had Intel processors. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it but I guess influence from parents and friends has always been Intel. Thank you very much for providing light to an AMD build. It is intruiging and maybe when I have enough money to start a second one, I can experiment with that. =]



g-unit1111 said:
Don't purchase a 3770 with a Z68 board - the CPU will not be fully utilized. Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($246.97 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1188.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-21 13:55 EDT-0400)

A bit over budget but that will give you a very powerful system. If you want to keep it under $1K for now - drop the storage system and go with a 1TB 7200 RPM drive.


July 22, 2012 5:06:04 AM

JefferyD90 said:
Once again G-unit, read the reviews on the PSU from ThermalTake... Every last one of them are 4 stars+

Like this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
It has 84 people that say 4.7 stars...

Or this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
That has 302 people saying 4.6 stars...

And that covers both the expensive 750 watt PSU all the way down to the cheap 400 watt ones... Would you like to look at some more?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Actually the lowest rated one is this one
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
at 3.5 stars but only 2 reviews... (and if you will read the review he actually compliments it, I dont know why he didnt give it the approprate star rating)

Please do not bash a product or company unless you have more people to back you up... I just named about 500 people that like ThermalTake PSU's...

Let me finish tho by saying I really like your builds, they are some of the best Intel build that are sudjested on here, I am simply giving people the options. And honestly what game can a buldozer CPU not pull acceptable fram rates on? You will sit here for at least 2 years before you can answer that question because even the 4100 can pull 60+ fps on just about ANY game. The ONLY thing that they do not exceede in is single threaded programs... but when ran in multi threaded programs they do everything AMD promised, and then some.


No on to the OP, If you like Intel, G-Units setup is VERY nice. If you like a AMD setup, the one I sudjest is the way to go. HAPPY BUILDING!!!

It's like you bash on everyone. G-unit is right. You should NEVER base a PSU rating on people who bought it. ALWAYS use reviews from reputable sources. Thermaltake makes only one good PSU, and that is the Laser Platinum. There is no "backing up" for PSU suggestions.
July 22, 2012 5:46:44 AM

JefferyD90 said:
Once again G-unit, read the reviews on the PSU from ThermalTake... Every last one of them are 4 stars+

Like this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
It has 84 people that say 4.7 stars...

Or this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
That has 302 people saying 4.6 stars...

And that covers both the expensive 750 watt PSU all the way down to the cheap 400 watt ones... Would you like to look at some more?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Actually the lowest rated one is this one
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
at 3.5 stars but only 2 reviews... (and if you will read the review he actually compliments it, I dont know why he didnt give it the approprate star rating)

Please do not bash a product or company unless you have more people to back you up... I just named about 500 people that like ThermalTake PSU's...

Let me finish tho by saying I really like your builds, they are some of the best Intel build that are sudjested on here, I am simply giving people the options. And honestly what game can a buldozer CPU not pull acceptable fram rates on? You will sit here for at least 2 years before you can answer that question because even the 4100 can pull 60+ fps on just about ANY game. The ONLY thing that they do not exceede in is single threaded programs... but when ran in multi threaded programs they do everything AMD promised, and then some.


No on to the OP, If you like Intel, G-Units setup is VERY nice. If you like a AMD setup, the one I sudjest is the way to go. HAPPY BUILDING!!!


Pointing to people who review products on stores = never a good idea. The thing is people who post reviews on stores do not have access to professional testing equipment. If you pointed to a website that reviews products with professional testing equipment - Johnnyguru, Anandtech, etc - then I might be more interested, but otherwise no.
July 22, 2012 6:31:06 AM

Liking it won't change the fact that Thermaltake makes crappy PSUs.
July 22, 2012 7:07:06 AM

Ok ok ^^;; please calm down on both sides? I think I've learned a bit from the both of you but I still have a few questions above. Still relatively new at building and I'm only starting to understand what I've researched so far. =X
July 22, 2012 7:26:48 AM

Look, I’m just saying that 500+ people cant be wrong about the PSU's and Tiger doesn’t let you post unless you have purchased from them so they are all creditable reviews. And as a man of the people, I always look at reviews of people who have purchased something, and own it, and use it over professional reviews (I do take both into account tho)...

And the AMD system will do anything you want it to, and another thing AMD is in your Xbox, Xbox 360, its in several computers, almost every single Las Vegas slot machine, most of your severs are AMD based, and yet everyone still treats them like a red headed step child... I’m just saying that AMD does not produce crap like your trying to say, they are a VALUE based company and always offer the newest technology like:

First one to break the 1Ghz barrier
First HT processor (Still don’t know how Intel got awarded the patent on it)
First 64 bit processor
First dual core processor
First quad core processor

Starting to get my drift? AMD releases technology that is before its time... And they are innovators, where would we be if it wasn’t for AMD?
July 22, 2012 7:32:40 AM

And on a second note, I have looked a little... G-Unit puts together, hands down, the best Intel based builds on here...

So props
July 22, 2012 7:47:30 AM

Wow I didn't know all that. Thanks for the information Jeffery. But after doing all this research on Intel, I would feel it to be of waste if we just dumped it. What we'll probably do is build this one as an Intel system but our next system (hopefully mine), we will definitely look into AMD!

I've been looking around Tom's about motherboards. Basically since we're pretty much locked to the 3770, we should be looking at z77 motherboards since they function better with the Ivy Bridge? I realize our case that we have doesn't have any front USB 3.0 ports. Not sure if that would make a difference to the board?
July 23, 2012 1:33:04 AM

Quote:
Don't purchase a 3770 with a Z68 board - the CPU will not be fully utilized. Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($246.97 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1188.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-21 13:55 EDT-0400)

A bit over budget but that will give you a very powerful system. If you want to keep it under $1K for now - drop the storage system and go with a 1TB 7200 RPM drive.


Can I replace with these parts?
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz processor ($259.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Or ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard (129.99 @ Microcenter)

I was wondering if the board you suggested was worth the extra $20 over the ASUS board? As for video card, wow. The price is really steep for it. How did you come to choose that card?

Also, can I start off by just buying a SSD for now and getting another hard drive later down the road?
July 23, 2012 2:43:15 AM

JefferyD90 said:
Look, I’m just saying that 500+ people cant be wrong about the PSU's and Tiger doesn’t let you post unless you have purchased from them so they are all creditable reviews. And as a man of the people, I always look at reviews of people who have purchased something, and own it, and use it over professional reviews (I do take both into account tho)...

And the AMD system will do anything you want it to, and another thing AMD is in your Xbox, Xbox 360, its in several computers, almost every single Las Vegas slot machine, most of your severs are AMD based, and yet everyone still treats them like a red headed step child... I’m just saying that AMD does not produce crap like your trying to say, they are a VALUE based company and always offer the newest technology like:

First one to break the 1Ghz barrier
First HT processor (Still don’t know how Intel got awarded the patent on it)
First 64 bit processor
First dual core processor
First quad core processor

Starting to get my drift? AMD releases technology that is before its time... And they are innovators, where would we be if it wasn’t for AMD?


Here's the thing - I'm no die hard Intel fanboy - but I'm also not a real AMD fan either. I'll recommend what the best product is in terms of value, price and performance. So far AMD's FX has not lived up to those standards. AMD makes some of the best value-oriented video cards right now with the 7850 and 7870 which is why they're so heavily recommended around here. But the problem with the FX series is that the AM2/AM3/AM3+ socket has been around for 10 years and it's been dragged out way past the point of usefulness. Where FX failed is that they tried to introduce new CPU instructions to a socket and chipset that can't handle them. If FX were based around an entirely new socket then that would be one thing - they might be able to keep up with Intel, but then again that still remains to be seen. If Piledriver finally ditches the AM3 socket for a new design and it can match or beat Sandy / Ivy Bridge then it can make AMD credible again. But like I said that remains to be seen.

And the reason why I never say it's a good idea to rely on stores for product reviews - that's a classic mistake that people make when building their first builds, I made that mistake myself. I bought an Ultra PSU because it was so highly rated - failed on me left and right. If you look at sites like Tom's, Johnnyguru, etc - they have professional testing equipment. They don't just rate power supplies - they pull them apart, dissect them, test every single little nuance of the product before they can give it a favorable or unfavorable review. The people rating products on stores don't do that. They don't have access to professional testing equipment. The ratings you see on stores - it's either you like this or don't like it. Look at Newegg. A good 90% of the positive reviews are based strictly on fanboyism. The negative reviews - RMA's are indicated - but a good 95% of them are either the shipping sucked or problems with refunds. Almost nothing to do with the product itself. Read a little closer and you'll see what I am talking about, don't just take their word for it.

Here's a couple of resources that back up what I'm saying about power supplies:
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-re...
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-specif...
July 23, 2012 6:27:14 AM

Actually the AM2 socket came out in like 2006ish, and the AM3 socket is basicly the same with 2 minor difference... voltage settings and it gave way to a MUCH better I/O bandwidth. The AM3+ is more or less a AM3 socket with more power flowing through it for the more intense processors... The only thing that Intel has a hands up on is triple and quad channel memory, but that is not socket based. It is memory controler based. If AMD had the memory bandwidth that Intels had things would be a lot closer cause as we all know programs are becoming more and more memory intensive not so much CPU or GPU. Used to as long as you had a Gig or 2 of RAM you was good, now its got to be 4GB+ of high speed, low latency RAM. Im not trying to make excuses, it is what it is.

And I have had about a dozen ThermalTake PSUs come my way, currently using 1, and have never had to return one... actually the only ones I have ever had to return is a DiabloTek.
July 23, 2012 8:23:46 AM

Best answer selected by Proximon.
July 23, 2012 8:23:54 AM

This topic has been closed by Proximon
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