Which gaming build?

Hey guys, I've been coming here for a long time but really just a lurker. I'm currently looking at upgrading sometime within in the next 3 months and need some expert advice. I'm not going to lie, I don't want to overclock right away, but might down the road. My question is... which build should I go with when comparing STOCK clock speeds?

AMD Build:
AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHZ Quad Core CPU
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=46281&vpn=HDZ965FBGMBOX&manufacture=AMD&promoid=1034

ASUS M5499X Evo AM3+ MOBO
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=62416&vpn=M5A99X%20EVO&manufacture=ASUS

Mushkin DDR4-1600 2X8GB RAM
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=73585&vpn=997050&manufacture=Mushkin%20Enhanced

XFX Radeon HD 6950 800MHZ 2GB 5GHZ Video Card
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61903&vpn=HD695XCDFC&manufacture=XFX&promoid=1145

1000GB SATA3 Seagate HDD
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=65701&vpn=ST1000DM003&manufacture=Seagate

120GB Corsair SSD
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61310&vpn=CSSD-F120GB3-BK&manufacture=Corsair

850W PSU (I intend to add an extra video card down the road
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=38650&vpn=CMPSU-850HX&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1145

Windows 7
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=45271&vpn=GFC-02050&manufacture=Microsoft

Total cost before any discounts/promos/tax - $1187.86

-------------------------------------------------

Intel Build:
i5 3570K Quad Core 3.4GHZ Quad Core
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=70541&vpn=BX80637I53570K&manufacture=Intel&promoid=1034

ASUS P8Z77-V Pro MOBO
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=69883&vpn=P8Z77-V%20Pro&manufacture=ASUS&promoid=1205

Mushkin DDR4-1600 2X8GB RAM
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=73585&vpn=997050&manufacture=Mushkin%20Enhanced

XFX Radeon HD 6950 800MHZ 2GB 5GHZ Video Card
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61903&vpn=HD695XCDFC&manufacture=XFX&promoid=1145

1000GB SATA3 Seagate HDD
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=65701&vpn=ST1000DM003&manufacture=Seagate

120GB Corsair SSD
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61310&vpn=CSSD-F120GB3-BK&manufacture=Corsair

850W PSU (I intend to add an extra video card down the road
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=38650&vpn=CMPSU-850HX&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1145

Windows 7
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=45271&vpn=GFC-02050&manufacture=Microsoft

Total cost before any discounts/promos/tax - $1386.64

I really guess my main question is, is it really worth the extra $198.78 for the slight improvements I'd get in gaming? (I am looking at playing GW2 at MAX settings and perhaps playing some BF3 as well).

Any constructive criticism is welcome, because if there's something better than what I chose, let me know! My total budget is $1400, so the Intel build can't really be touched, lol.

Thanks guys!
19 answers Last reply
More about which gaming build
  1. I would go with the intel build pretty sure the amd build would have bottle necks with two 6950 though i might be wrong
  2. I'd go with a Radeon 7850:
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=69912&vpn=11200%2D00%2D20G&manufacture=SAPPHIRE

    It runs cooler when OCed, and uses less power when OCed compared to the STOCK of the 6950.

    I'd go with the second build but change the PSU to a 650W if you plan to CF/SLI or 550W if you run one OCed 7850. Go with the P8Z77 V-LK. It is cheaper and I doubt you will need all the features of the Pro.
  3. Thanks for the tips. I managed to drop the Intel build by about $80, so I'm definitely going with that build! Is it worth getting an after market CPU heatsink/fan if I don't plan to OC for a few months?
  4. forget about a 6950 or a 7850 get a 660 TI and to answer your question that's up to you get it now or when your ready to overclock
  5. Actually the Intel build can be touched, drop down to an 8GB kit, you don't need 16GB of RAM.

    Drop down to a cheaper motherboard on it, theres no reason for that super duper expensive board.
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=70902&vpn=Z77%20Extreme4&manufacture=ASRock

    Then put all the spare budget into the best video card you can get. Forget about SLi/Crossfire "later", that usually doesn't make sense in say 2 or 3 years to add a 2nd one. It makes more sense just to replace the aging video card with a new one, rather than bootstrap another old video card to the system.
  6. regina_49 said:
    forget about a 6950 or a 7850 get a 660 TI and to answer your question that's up to you get it now or when your ready to overclock

    660 TIs fail to impress me over 7870s. And now that proper benches are out, no more speculations :lol:
  7. The Walmart smiley face is still rolling back prices for you:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=58382&vpn=CMPSU-750TXV2&manufacture=Corsair

    This power supply is more than enough for 2 video cards, and much cheaper.

    With all the money you saved from my rec's you could and should be looking at GTX 670s or 7970 GHZ editions by now.
  8. I think the amd build is fine for bf3, but im not sure if guild wars is more cpu intensive like wow, if thats the case go with the intel. Intel systems get like 20+ fps in wow vs a amd processor. They are worth the extra cash for that performance, but if you dont intend to spend that much a amd platform will give you more than enough power for a great game experience
  9. Wow really is not CPU intensive. You can play WoW on pretty much any computer. Nothing over 60 FPS matters, if one CPU gets 80FPS and another gets 100FPS, they are identical in terms of real world performance, since monitors are frame limited to 60FPS.
  10. nekulturny said:
    660 TIs fail to impress me over 7870s. And now that proper benches are out, no more speculations :lol:
    hmm.... i have not seen the ones you must be refering to yet as far as i seen the 660TI preforms better than a 7870 but not quite as good as a 7950
  11. regina_49 said:
    hmm.... i have not seen the ones you must be refering to yet as far as i seen the 660TI preforms better than a 7870 but not quite as good as a 7950


    Nah, its closer to the same as the 7870, or as Toms says in their review:
    Quote:
    Frankly, a few percentage points doesn't sway our opinion one way or the other. Here's the real bottom-line: using our benchmark suite and settings, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7870 trade blows.


  12. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279-17.html

    Quote:
    Frankly, a few percentage points doesn't sway our opinion one way or the other. Here's the real bottom-line: using our benchmark suite and settings, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7870 trade blows. That fact alone justifies Nvidia's $300 price tag.


    Of course this is the same jackass who said that he had no AMD CPUs to recommend at any price point because of 1 and 2 FPS differences, so, Mr. Woligroski, Tom's hardware's senior editor doesn't get much clout from me with such inconsistencies. :lol:

    So we move on to a more reputable source:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review

    With the 7870 getting price slashes, I think I'll stick to my guns for now, until we see what Nvidia's next move is.
  13. ^ :lol: ^

    Fair enough. :D
  14. nekulturny said:
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/9/V/348979/original/Average%20Perf.png

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279-17.html

    Quote:
    Frankly, a few percentage points doesn't sway our opinion one way or the other. Here's the real bottom-line: using our benchmark suite and settings, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7870 trade blows. That fact alone justifies Nvidia's $300 price tag.


    Of course this is the same jackass who said that he had no AMD CPUs to recommend at any price point because of 1 and 2 FPS differences, so, Mr. Woligroski, Tom's hardware's senior editor doesn't get much clout from me with such inconsistencies. :lol:

    So we move on to a more reputable source:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review

    With the 7870 getting price slashes, I think I'll stick to my guns for now, until we see what Nvidia's next move is.
    :lol: Thanks for the info reading up on it now
  15. Very tempting to go with that video card... but isn't the main thing it has better than the one I chose is the fact it goes to a much higher res? The highest res I'd use is 1080.

    Oh, and as for the PSU, would this one do the job as well?

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64382&vpn=OCZ-ZT750W&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology

    It's the same overall averages of the Corsair one, just a bit cheaper in cost. Also, the Mobo I chose was:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=71114&vpn=P8Z77-V%20LK&manufacture=ASUS

    Which is also less expensive, and I am partial (sorry to say) to asus for mobos. All my other builds have been asus. Well, in all honesty I've only made 3 computers so far, lol.

    Thanks for the tips so far and I look forward to hearing some more! I'm almost done with this build, so excited!
  16. OCZ honestly is not a company that appears on my radar often when it comes to quality power supplies. I know HardOCP (a tech site) has failed many of their models in their testing. HardOCP is pretty tough when they review a power supply, they check every nook and cranny to make sure the PSU does exactly what the maker claims it can do. That particular model got a big fat F
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/12/20/ocz_zt_series_650w_power_supply_review/9

    Corsair TXv2
    *simulates gameshow "ding" sound*
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/02/07/corsair_enthusiast_series_modular_power_supply_review/10

    I can't blame you for going Asus, I prefer them myself. At least that one is much more reasonably priced. You're good I think.
  17. supersaiyanfour said:
    Very tempting to go with that video card... but isn't the main thing it has better than the one I chose is the fact it goes to a much higher res? The highest res I'd use is 1080.

    Oh, and as for the PSU, would this one do the job as well?

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64382&vpn=OCZ-ZT750W&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology

    It's the same overall averages of the Corsair one, just a bit cheaper in cost. Also, the Mobo I chose was:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=71114&vpn=P8Z77-V%20LK&manufacture=ASUS

    Which is also less expensive, and I am partial (sorry to say) to asus for mobos. All my other builds have been asus. Well, in all honesty I've only made 3 computers so far, lol.

    Thanks for the tips so far and I look forward to hearing some more! I'm almost done with this build, so excited!
    The PSU will do and mobo is alright the 660 TI supposedly is better than TH is saying I don't know what happened, but other sites consistently have the GTX 660 Ti beating a 7950 at 1920 resolution. http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/56090-nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review-23.html
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_660_Ti_Power_Edition/28.html
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review/20
    so it's hard to say at this point which is wrong i guess only time will tell
  18. Yeah i am not fond of ocz psu either but i seen Jonny gave it a pass and i seen it recommended on the TH PSU thread of recommended psu's http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=262
  19. If I can find some good, solid 2x4gb ram chips at 1600 speed from ncix, I'll be good to go with the 7970 GHZ edition card. I do see how 16gb ram is a little much, lol. I don't think I'll even use up all 8GB ram, but more is better than not enough.

    Currently, with all the promo's going on, before tax we're looking at JUST over my budget of $1400. If I can find good ram, then I'm set to make the purchase! I'll let you know in a day or so if I can find good ram.

    Again, thanks for the help!!!
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