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First Time PC build: Final Compatability Check

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July 21, 2012 11:43:43 PM

After a long, hard search, it is time to bite the bullet and make my final decision regarding a first time custom pc build. The purpose of this thread is to make sure that all of my component selections are fully compatible with each other so I can finally pull the trigger with my purchase. You can also view the previous discussions I have had on this forum with the following links.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

Approximate Purchase Date: This system must be assembled by the end of this month or the very start of August. That said I am looking at ordering the parts before the weekend is over if possible

Budget Range: $2400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Game Creation (I plan on starting with modding PC games and using other beginner level tools), graphic design, high performance gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, the software I plan on running also requires the professional version of Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: United States

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: I am aiming for 1920x1200 as this is the maximum I can go due to budget constraints.

Additional Comments: This system must be able to comfortably run most games at max settings at 60fps. I will also be running the following software:
Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium (especially Photoshop & Illustrator)
Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Student programs including, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Softimage, Mudbox and Sketchbook Designer
Pixologic Z-Brush
Microsoft Office

I also want to know if there are any changes that can be made to this system to allow for cost savings without compromising the functionality, performance, expandability of the system. I had strongly considered Sandy Bridge-E but in the end rejected it as a result of the higher cost of the needed components. I also do not believe I require a professional card as I am a beginner. On top of that, a professional card would push the cost of my system way over budget.

Current component selection

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-H612-20PK-R3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB Dual Channel Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe MX 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon 7970 OC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2410
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: SeaSonic Platinum-860
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard: Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse: RAZER Abyssus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 21, 2012 11:54:16 PM

I would recommend a Crucial M4/Samsung 830 SSD. They are very reliable, and very fast.
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July 21, 2012 11:58:01 PM

Are you left-handed? If not, you might consider a different mouse. It's a good one, but not a great one.

I love the X-860 psu (it is powering the machine I'm writing this from), but since you say you are on a budget, a 620 will just as well:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Even with crossfire you could game with it. Here's a 2011 system (more power):

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1834/11/

But far be it for me to discourage you. That X-860 is like a jewel box.

July 22, 2012 12:02:01 AM

TheBigTroll said:
do the programs you use support OpenCL? if they do, get this

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cHSJ

if it doesnt, get this

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cHT0

the v7900 beats the quadro 4000 in most apps but firepro cards dont support CUDA while the quadro cards do


The issue I have with pro cards, is if I really require them for the level of work I will be starting with. I will mainly be working with modding PC games at the start. There is also the issue of game performance as this system must be used for both gaming and graphics work.
July 22, 2012 12:05:05 AM

pro cards are just for work and gaming cards are just for games. they dont do well in each others territory

for games, id get a asus gtx670. keep in mind that gaming cards suck at work apps. geforce cards are pretty decent at work
July 22, 2012 12:10:40 AM

The 7970 is a great in-between card. It's just as good as the 680 with the latest driver update(Catalyst 12.7) and it beats even 690 at compute.
July 22, 2012 12:30:47 AM

Temile said:
Are you left-handed? If not, you might consider a different mouse. It's a good one, but not a great one.

I love the X-860 psu (it is powering the machine I'm writing this from), but since you say you are on a budget, a 620 will just as well:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Even with crossfire you could game with it. Here's a 2011 system (more power):

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1834/11/

But far be it for me to discourage you. That X-860 is like a jewel box.


According to the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator I would need a higher wattage power supply If I decide to do multiple graphics cards and/or overclock my CPU in the future. Neither decision is definitive. That said I am more comfortable with the X-860, that said I would appreciate any other suggestions. However, I am pressed on time to get this system finished so I cannot really do any more research.
July 22, 2012 12:50:18 AM

Again, the main thing I need to know here everyone is if my selected components are fully compatible with each other. If anyone can outright tell me if that is the case with any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
July 22, 2012 12:57:43 AM

750w is more than enough for 2 way crossfire or sli

id only get 850w psu s if i was running a older 2way sli setup

dont use psu calculators. they arent very accurate
July 22, 2012 12:58:37 AM

7970 works well on a 750W PSU. Those calcs don't account for everything.
July 22, 2012 1:13:57 AM

azeem40 said:
7970 works well on a 750W PSU. Those calcs don't account for everything.


What would be a good 750W PSU then that can handle my current component selection?
July 22, 2012 1:14:52 AM

The TX750 V2, XFX PRO750W.
July 22, 2012 1:16:37 AM

my psu: XFX XXX 750W.

its semi-modular and 80+ silver.its also made by seasonic. currently 112.99 at us.ncix.com i think
July 22, 2012 1:17:54 AM

you will need the modularity

the only flaw i find on the xfx xxx 750w is that it gives you 2 8pin CPU power connectors which is a pain since i dont use it and the 550D doesnt have the best cabling
July 22, 2012 1:40:11 AM

thats even better. get it before the promo code ends
July 22, 2012 2:16:48 AM

It's all compatible. Otherwise, we would have said, haha.
July 22, 2012 2:17:50 AM

All compatible. Sure you don't want the X-860? It's only $40 more. I was recommending one where you would save $110.
July 22, 2012 1:11:36 PM

he wont be needing the extra wattage. 80+gold is more than enough efficency.
July 22, 2012 9:41:06 PM

I am doing this last minute, but I need to know for certain. Since I discovered the PC Part Picker website and have become willing to shop around for the lowest prices on components, I have quickly decided to give a Sandy Bridge-E system a second look given the advantages it would have such as the ability to support higher amounts memory in quad channel configurations, and support for up to six core processors. I must note however, that I will be starting with a quad-core SB-E chip then later upgrade to a six core SB-E or Ivy Bridge-E CPU if need be. Both features might be of benefit for system usage (with the exception gaming which will not benefit). Its a little more money and puts my system a bit over-budget but it might be worth it. I will most likely stick with the Ivy Bridge system I have configured, but I would like to know if this Sandy Bridge-E system has good selection of components that are compatible, and if there are any changes that can be made. I would also like to know if Sandy Bridge-E is worth it or play it safe and stick with Ivy Bridge as I need to make my decision rather quickly due to the time I have left.

Here is the link for the system configuration using Sandy Bridge-E

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cLJU
July 22, 2012 10:06:34 PM

There is no quad-core Sandy Bridge E. If you live near Microcenter, the 3820(hexacore) is ~$230, and you get $50 off the motherboard. It will be faster, and the two extra cores will help if you're multitasking.
July 22, 2012 10:24:12 PM

obsama1 said:
There is no quad-core Sandy Bridge E. If you live near Microcenter, the 3820(hexacore) is ~$230, and you get $50 off the motherboard. It will be faster, and the two extra cores will help if you're multitasking.


Is the power supply I selected for this system overkill, or adequate?
July 22, 2012 10:24:39 PM

860W is more than enough. Maybe a bit too much.
July 22, 2012 10:31:53 PM

obsama1 said:
860W is more than enough. Maybe a bit too much.


What about 750W or 800W ?
July 22, 2012 11:12:39 PM

obsama1 said:
There is no quad-core Sandy Bridge E. If you live near Microcenter, the 3820(hexacore) is ~$230, and you get $50 off the motherboard. It will be faster, and the two extra cores will help if you're multitasking.

3820 is quad core. 3930 and 3960 are hexacore.

Best solution

July 22, 2012 11:14:51 PM
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Don't start with the 3820...either get Ivy Bridge and 4 cores or save and get 6 core SB-E.
July 22, 2012 11:48:40 PM

get ivy bridge i5 3570k and you will be a happy guy. no real advantage of sbe other than the fact that you will be using the rig for photoshop or work which you wont be
July 22, 2012 11:52:42 PM

Woops, 3820 is quad-core. If you really need 6 cores, the 3960K is pretty good.
July 23, 2012 12:50:14 AM

I meant 3930K. Typo.
July 30, 2012 4:42:32 PM

Best answer selected by mesopotamian.
July 30, 2012 4:46:04 PM

Just pulled the trigger over the weekend. I thank everyone who has given me advice on this website, which I would have completely lost without.
!