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Last minute advice on a build/Still need case

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July 26, 2012 5:03:35 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next two weeks

Budget Range: 1500-1800 after shipping, taxes and rebates (not including mail-in rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, fraps'ing (screen recording), streaming and light editing
Are you buying a monitor: Not at this time

Parts to Upgrade: All

Do you need to buy OS: No, my school has the Microsoft Academic Alliance for Engineers :D 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (NCIX.com, newegg.ca, tigerdirect.ca)

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Parts Preferences: by brand or type : I want to build an Intel Ivy-Bridge system

Overclocking: Yes, I'm terribly late to the party as-is.

SLI or Crossfire: No, I'd rather buy 1 high-end card.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I mostly play MMOs at a high level, building this system for WoW, GW2 as well I've gotten into BF3 recently.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I have a 5 year old system, I raid at 20 FPS in 10 man at the moment.. it's awful!

Here are my pieces:

CPU : I5-3570k
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=70541&vpn=BX80637I53570K&m...

or

i7-3770k
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=70540&vpn=BX80637I73770K&m...

PSU:
Unsure on this at the moment, part of what I needed advice on

RAM: 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance Blue
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=59431&vpn=CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9...

MoBo: Asus Sabertooth Z77 (for intel Smart Response tech, what's your guy's take on that?)
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=69881&vpn=Sabertooth%20Z77...

GPU: Radeon HD 7970
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=67172&vpn=FX797ATDFC&manuf...

or GeForce GTX 670
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=71245&vpn=02G%2DP4%2D2670%...

or GeForce GTX 680
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=70546&vpn=GV%2DN680OC%2D2G...

I am really unsure here. I have been doing an excessive amount of research on what graphic card to buy and I simply can't find anything conclusive (other than the fact that the GTX-680 is massively overpriced, included it here just for good measure). All these 'sub-sellers' (Zotac, EVGA, etc) confuse the living hell out of me. I'm a computer guy so I understand most of the differences but I am not a hardware guy so it's hard for me to max/min which is better for what.

SSD: Crucial M4 (of course =P)
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=60445&vpn=CT128M4SSD2&manu...

HDD: WD 1 TB
http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=50895&vpn=WD1002FAEX&manuf...

Case: Still up in the air, I REALLY like the coolmaster cases I saw at my local Microbytes. The way the Hard Drives have their own little trays and no screwing-in is needed is super neat. That being said their prices did seem a little over the top. I need a case with way above-par ventilation and cooling. Suggestions needed here.

Feel free to suggest anything within my budget, cheaper is better without sacrificing quality.
July 26, 2012 5:24:59 PM

If you don't plan to do any intense or very regular editing work, I would go with the i5. The i7 will indeed benefit you, but only in the editing and other threaded applications (i.e. NOT games).

The Asus Sabertooth is overpriced IMHO (in any generation, not just this one). You'd get most of the same features from most other boards. I personally don't spend more than $150 USD on boards since from that point on the added features are minimal but extremely expensive. My Gigabyte board was about $150 but OCed better than some of the $200 boards.

As far as GPUs - do you know what programs you'll be using? Some of them will take advantage of certain GPUs (NVIDIA has CUDA, AMD does better with raw computing), so that may affect your choice. I would be looking at either the 670 or 7970.

For GPU brands:
NVIDIA - EVGA, Asus, (maybe) MSI in that order. I personally buy solely from EVGA b/c their customer service is great and the GPUs are well manufactured
AMD - Asus, Sapphire, MSI are the ones I've heard good things about. Sometimes Powercolor is good, sometimes it's not...

PSU - The 670/7970 will only require around a 500W PSU, but throw in some OCing and you'll want a good 650W. Something from Seasonic/Corsair would be ideal.

SSD - if you can find the Samsung 830 for around the same price, it's a smidge faster and just as reliable. Intel's drives are the best of the bunch, but they're generally much more expensive. All that said, I am now running a Crucial M4 128GB and it's fantastic. Boots in under 15 seconds (would be faster, but my BIOS sequence is a bit long).

Case - you have lots of choices. Cooler Master's HAF series is great, Silverstone has some innovative designs, and NZXT makes some flashy stuff. If you want something a bit smaller than a full tower and cheaper, look at the HAF 922. My friend has one and it's pretty nice and quiet.
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July 26, 2012 5:34:56 PM

Thanks a lot for the input, I will look into Gigabyte MoBO saving 100$ is always nice, I can put it towards that set of Astro A40's I'm craving.

I'm glad you metionned EVGA as first. I have an EVGA GTS 260 (newest thing when I got it) and I haven't had a moment's trouble with it. Other than games that hate Nvidia for some reason *CoughSWTORcough*.

Samsung, got it.

Corsair PSU, would you think it's worth it to get a 750W for future proofing? Maybe if the GTX 670 drops significantly in price?

Cooler Master it is, I love their look too much to buy anything else if they're recognised as decent in the community. I don't want to buy overpriced rubbish just because it looks good. Where does Antec sit in the performance enthusiast case category?
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July 26, 2012 5:37:09 PM

Oh btw I missed that part of your post but I mostly play MMOs (WoW, GW2 mainly) and I want to be able to fraps and stream.

I do some light editing for my VoDs or videos I want to upload to youtube. I use Vegas for that (because I'm a noob editor =PPP (at least it's not WMM!))
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July 26, 2012 6:13:45 PM

Bump;

Should I look into an aftermarket cooler? Corsair H100 series perhaps
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July 27, 2012 12:13:37 AM

Quote:
Thanks a lot for the input, I will look into Gigabyte MoBO saving 100$ is always nice, I can put it towards that set of Astro A40's I'm craving.

Astros for your PC? Better off with a solid set of 2 channel headphones and a decent sound card with good virtualization. The A40s are virtualized anyway, and they're quite expensive for virtualized headphones.

Quote:
Corsair PSU, would you think it's worth it to get a 750W for future proofing? Maybe if the GTX 670 drops significantly in price?

If you're thinking about SLI, it will probably be a good investment.

Quote:
Cooler Master it is, I love their look too much to buy anything else if they're recognised as decent in the community. I don't want to buy overpriced rubbish just because it looks good. Where does Antec sit in the performance enthusiast case category?

While I loved the simplistic look of the Antec 300, I owned one nearly 4 years ago and the only things they've released were the DF-series. If you want something simple like the 300, I would tell you to get the NZXT Source 210 Elite, which gets you toolless drive bays in a great looking case that is basically a revamped 300 (owned the regular 210 in white). I think they've just gotten a little stale all-around (cases, PSUs, etc)

If you're looking for a full tower, you have many more great options besides Cooler Master. My RV02 is awesome, and it is arguably better than the RV02-E and RV03 that came after it. It has a very efficient cooling design that helps it maintain a low noise level.

Quote:
Should I look into an aftermarket cooler? Corsair H100 series perhaps

The H100 doesn't perform as well as similarly priced entry-level watercooling kits, and it's a bit noiser and only marginally better than most air coolers. Unless you're trying to break world records, I would go with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($30) or something better in the $50 range.
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July 27, 2012 7:03:55 AM

Even OCed, a 7970 won't need more than 500W.
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July 27, 2012 7:58:42 AM

CPU: Get the i5-3570k for gaming. It will perform the exact same as the i7-3770k for gaming.



Graphics card: Go for the GTX 670. It's $100 less than the GTX 680 and performs within 5-10% of it. Unless that extra 3 FPS is worth it to you...


Case: Check out the NZXT Switch 810 for consideration. Watch a couple reviews on it, it is awesome.
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July 27, 2012 4:56:11 PM

What headset would you suggest for the PC that does surround? I have the Razer Megalodon at the moment and it is absolutely the most horrible crap I've ever had to deal with.
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July 27, 2012 7:58:36 PM

The only true 5.1 surround sound headset I would recommend would be the Roccat Kave. I would probably get a good pair of headphones ($100 range with good sound across all ranges) and a good sound card that has good virtualization. The built in sound card might actually be good enough, and you can always drop in a sound card if it doesn't cut it.
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