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Feedback on my gaming i5 build?

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August 31, 2012 10:54:01 PM

EDIT: Ok, I'm back for advice round 2. I've updated the list based on last night's suggestions.

Anyone mind giving some feedback on an upcoming build? Here's where I am so far:


Approximate Purchase Date: September

Budget Range: $1500-2000 (With my current selections, it looks like I'm sitting around $1500.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, light media editing, light desktop publishing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: (Some parts are salvaged from a previous build, but I'm willing to replace them if necessary)
  • CPU: i5 3570k
  • CPU Cooler: EVGA Superclock
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6
  • Memory: (Salvaged) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
  • System Drive: (Salvaged) OCZ Vertex 4
  • Storage Drive: (Salvaged) WD 1TB Black (x2)
  • Video Card: EVGA GTX 670 OR GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7970 These two are so close on performance, that I will probably choose based on price at purchase. I plan on purchasing a second one for SLI/Crossfire after the next gen price drop)
  • Case: Thermaltake Level 10 Snow
  • PSU: (Salvaged) ABS Tagan BZ1100
  • Optical Drive: (Salvaged) Asus BDRW
  • Monitor: Acer 23" LCD
  • Keyboard: Sidewinder X4
  • Mouse: Logitech G9X

    Do you need to buy OS: No

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any reputable site is fine with me. Tends to be Newegg, and, on rare occasions, Amazon.

    Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

    Parts Preferences: I would like to stick with Intel processors

    Overclocking: Yes

    SLI or Crossfire: Yes

    Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

    Additional Comments: I think I'm stuck on the Level 10 Snow. I know it's kind of pricey, but I feel like I will carry it into future builds. And, it just looks cool. I've been using an Antec 1200 for several years, and I love it, but it's time to move on. Plus, the HAF X looks too much like my 1200. I need some new eye candy.

    And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Planetside 2 and Heart of the Swarm will be out soon. :D 
  • More about : feedback gaming build

    August 31, 2012 11:00:38 PM

    why not get a 4core 8thread processor ? and why not get faster ram. i looked at the 1st board and it has great potential with the fastest ram. Personally I would get 2133 ( or something a little faster and try and run it at.... ) because that seems right now where the cutoff point is. ( performance over 1600 ) .. just my thoughts.
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    Best solution

    August 31, 2012 11:04:49 PM

    You do not need to use water cooling, a fact. Many people don't even touch overclocking where water is necessary. I say this because closed loops like Corsair's Hydro series and Antec's Khuler series and Thermaltake's newer introductions just don't match a true water cooling loop. Those "Water coolers" really only match up to Air HSF combinations that are $40 less.

    Check out the EVGA Superclock, great cooler solid price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Review:
    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1629/6/

    Check out my $1100 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
    Save some money, no need to use so much. But it seems most of your parts are salvaged anyways.

    Definitely not worth it, the Asus board that is proof: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-extreme6-z77a-g...
    The P8Z77-V Pro performs the same as the Asrock Extreme6 Z77 for $60 more.

    Perhaps look into the 7970? Same price as the GTX 670, seems to perform better on average. Plus it can overclock higher:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-over...
    Proof:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_6...
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    August 31, 2012 11:11:42 PM

    swifty_morgan said:
    why not get a 4core 8thread processor ?

    Do you mean go for the 3770k? Do you think the performance gains are substantial enough to warrant the price difference? I can see it for the desktop apps, but will it impact gaming much?

    swifty_morgan said:
    and why not get faster ram. i looked at the 1st board and it has great potential with the fastest ram. Personally I would get 2133 ( or something a little faster and try and run it at.... ) because that seems right now where the cutoff point is. ( performance over 1600 ) .. just my thoughts.

    I just picked the 1600 to keep the price down below my floor, so there would be room for improvements based on suggestions here. Also, I planned on OC'ing the ram to 1866ish. But, the ram speed is my biggest hang-up on the list so far. I really do want it in the 2133 range.

    Thanks for the feedback.
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    August 31, 2012 11:31:13 PM

    aznshinobi said:
    You do not need to use water cooling, a fact. Many people don't even touch overclocking where water is necessary. I say this because closed loops like Corsair's Hydro series and Antec's Khuler series and Thermaltake's newer introductions just don't match a true water cooling loop. Those "Water coolers" really only match up to Air HSF combinations that are $40 less.


    Honestly, I've been torn between the towers and closed water coolers. My last cooler was a Thermalright Ultra 120--similar to the EVGA Superclock. It's performance was phenomenal, but I had to modify my case to make it fit. (It couldn't clear the side fan bracket.) That's really the only reason I chose the closed loop cooler. I guess a little case modification is the lesser evil of an unproven cooling method. I'm weary of what happens to those types of coolers over time, since you're not suppose to open them up.

    aznshinobi said:
    Check out my $1100 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
    Save some money, no need to use so much. But it seems most of your parts are salvaged anyways.


    Perhaps look into the 7970? Same price as the GTX 670, seems to perform better on average. Plus it can overclock higher:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-over...
    Proof:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_6...


    Thanks for the links. Looks like I have some reading to do. :) 
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    September 1, 2012 12:17:41 AM

    ^ Ahhh, Great cooler the Ultra 120, the EVGA Superclock will have improvements though. Newer designs always get some room for improvement.

    I completely disagree with Swity_Morgan, you don't need the i7, especially since you're only doing "light media editing" and "light desktop publishing". LR3 and PS5 aren't that heavy on the CPU if that's what you mean. For that matter my i5 2500K is running those fine with ease too.

    Also RAM speeds have little effect at all on actual performance in real life. From 1600 to 2133 there is hardly a difference, not worth justifying the larger cost .
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    September 1, 2012 12:43:21 AM

    must be my imagination that ram is extremely cheap right now and if you keep your eyes open you can make a real score. and the ram speed is more noticeable in the apps vs the gaming but you still pull more FPS with the faster ram.

    and since I'm asking.......... why not a xeon processor instead ? cheaper yet.
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    September 1, 2012 12:58:43 AM

    swifty_morgan said:
    must be my imagination that ram is extremely cheap right now and if you keep your eyes open you can make a real score. and the ram speed is more noticeable in the apps vs the gaming but you still pull more FPS with the faster ram.

    and since I'm asking.......... why not a xeon processor instead ? cheaper yet.


    To which Xeon are you referring? The equivalent Xeon to the i5 that I chose appears to be this one, but it's more expensive. I found one that was slightly cheaper here, but it's a lower stock speed as well. Am I missing something? How's the overclocking ability of the xeons? I've never really looked into them for a desktop.
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    September 1, 2012 1:11:38 AM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Timings IMO aren't so great but it is cheap. OP's choice in the end. RAM speed is a slight factor, hardly noticeable in apps.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
    From DDR3 1600 to 2133 hardly a difference.

    If you're referring to the E3-1220 V2, it's not very good...
    http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-e31220-v2-ivy-br...
    The E3-1230 V2 is not bad:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    However why get that when the i5 3570K is cheaper and benches similarly
    http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-e31230-v2-ivy-br...
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    September 1, 2012 1:30:40 AM

    Mudaphukah said:
    To which Xeon are you referring? The equivalent Xeon to the i5 that I chose appears to be this one, but it's more expensive. I found one that was slightly cheaper here, but it's a lower stock speed as well. Am I missing something? How's the overclocking ability of the xeons? I've never really looked into them for a desktop.



    keep your eyes peeled. i paid less for mine. and if a tenth of a Ghz really matters... ?????
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    September 1, 2012 1:46:03 AM

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gcBh
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gcBh/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gcBh/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($75.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($429.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition ATX Full Tower Case ($267.50 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Rosewill 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
    Monitor: Acer S231HLbid 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($47.52 @ B&H)
    Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($62.53 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1523.48
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-31 21:45 EDT-0400)

    What do you guys think?

    I've been hearing real good reviews from the ASUS 670.
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    September 1, 2012 2:02:51 AM

    Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone. I'm out for the night, but I'll check in again tomorrow. :hello: 
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    September 1, 2012 4:48:42 PM

    Ok, I'm back for advice round 2. I've updated the list based on last night's suggestions.

    Parts to Upgrade: (Some parts are salvaged from a previous build, so those are free. But, I'm willing to replace them if necessary)
  • CPU: i5 3570k
  • CPU Cooler: EVGA Superclock
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6
  • Memory: (Salvaged) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
  • System Drive: (Salvaged) OCZ Vertex 4
  • Storage Drive: (Salvaged) WD 1TB Black (x2)
  • Video Card: EVGA GTX 670 OR GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7970 These two are so close on performance, that I will probably choose based on price at purchase. I plan on purchasing a second one for SLI/Crossfire after the next gen price drop)
  • Case: Thermaltake Level 10 Snow
  • PSU: (Salvaged) ABS Tagan BZ1100
  • Optical Drive: (Salvaged) Asus BDRW
  • Monitor: Acer 23" LCD
  • Keyboard: Sidewinder X4
  • Mouse: Logitech G9X
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    September 1, 2012 7:51:14 PM

    I'd go with the 7970 per the links I posted, but looks solid!
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    September 2, 2012 1:12:20 PM

    I think I'm ready to pull the trigger on this one. Thanks for all the help!

    Parts to Upgrade: (Some parts are salvaged from a previous build, so they are free.)
  • CPU: i5 3570k
  • CPU Cooler: EVGA Superclock
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6
  • Memory: (Salvaged) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
  • System Drive: (Salvaged) OCZ Vertex 4
  • Storage Drive: (Salvaged) WD 1TB Black (x2)
  • Video Card: HIS IceQ X² Radeon HD 7970 (I plan on purchasing a second one for Crossfire after the next gen price drop.)
  • Case: Thermaltake Level 10 Snow
  • PSU: (Salvaged) ABS Tagan BZ1100
  • Optical Drive: (Salvaged) Asus BDRW
  • Monitor: Acer 23" LCD
  • Keyboard: Sidewinder X4
  • Mouse: Logitech G9X

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    September 2, 2012 1:13:00 PM

    Best answer selected by Mudaphukah.
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    !