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I5 3570K good enough for GTX670 or HD7950?

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July 15, 2012 6:07:39 PM

Hi guys and girls, I am planning a new build based on a i5 3570K and would like to get some feedback on the graphics card selection. At the moment I would like to use a GTX 670 or HD7950 with it. Should the the i5 be able to handle the GTX 670 I would be leaning more towards it.
But I am unsure if the i5 would bottleneck either of the two cards ie there is not enough CPU muscle for the Graphics to show its full potential. In which case I will downgrade to a HD7870 which should hopefully not be bottlenecked.
I believe at the planned 1920x1080 both these cards will be awesome and probably overkill. Would the same hold true if I plan to add an extra display? I would like the build to be able to last 2years or so with minor upgrades if need be.

If I go the HD7950 route I will most probably go for the HIS IceQ. Is there much difference between the factory overclocked cards and their "normal" counterparts? Would the "normal" cards be able to overclock to the same speeds manually?
As for the GTX670s I am tossing up between the ASUS GTX670 DCII TOP and EVGA GTX670 FTW. What are people's opinions on them?
The DCII is marginally better than the FTW at stock speeds, and i believe slightly cooler and quieter. But what about manual overclocking? Do they still have much room to maneuver? The DCII are also pretty hard to find atm.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Most probably this week

BUDGET RANGE: USD $350-450 Before Rebates(Most probably wont have access to them)

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming [DiRT3, SC2, Total War Shogun, Crysis2, and ideally many more up and coming games], watching movies, regular browsing etc)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: I am planning to build using a Corsair AX650W or TX650W semi modular. Only have a GeForce 7300 Go in a laptop atm so anything will be a significant upgrade

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: CPU will be a i5 3570K(Will be overclocked down the road) in a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H, Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, 8Gb RAM.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No real preference, newegg or amazon is fine. But if there is a site with cheap shipping to AUs that would be great but not necessary.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am slightly partial to the designs that use a centrifugal fan to push air out of the casing but only slightly. Performance would still be a higher priority.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (With plans to upgrade to 2560x1440, or multi-monitor setup at least)

a c 185 U Graphics card
July 15, 2012 6:21:46 PM

The GTX 670 is about 12-13% more "bang for the buck" than a 7950.The i5 won't bottleneck any card. Yes the normal cards can be overclocked manually. ASUS GTX670 DCII TOP and EVGA GTX670 FTW are both awesome cards you can't go wrong with either the EVGA comes with lifetime warranty though
July 15, 2012 6:26:47 PM

An 3570K will not pose any issues. It is a fantastic CPU that can handle any game. There is not really any significant difference between an a 2500K/3570K and an 2nd/3rd gen i7 in terms of gaming.

Of the games you listed, Total War Shogun is probably the most CPU intensive but not to the point where a 3570K becomes a bottleneck, especially with a mild overclock.

I would stay away from the EVGA FTW. Having owned one before returning it for a Gigabyte 670, I can say that it was impossible to OC without getting artifacts (even at a low +20 boost). Granted it already comes with a substantial OC, but there are better cards out there that will run much cooler and at higher clocks.

This is just my experience with one EVGA FTW, I may have been unlucky.
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a c 165 U Graphics card
July 15, 2012 6:33:19 PM

No, it will not 'bottleneck'.
As the resolution goes up the workload shifts more towards the GPU and away from the CPU so you'll want all the graphical power your budget can stand at 2560x1440.
If you're going to go multi-GPU, especialy with an overclock, I'd suggest a more powerful PSU is purchased at build time.
Both of those cards already have a strong factory oerclock, do n't expect too much extra!
If the system is in a hot room take some time to choose the case carefully if you go for something like the Asus. Remember,all that heat has to go somewhere so decent ventilation is importaint in keeping temperatures down (and the fans quiet).
If you want to manually overclock, get a stock card and have a crack at it yourself, refenence cards are pretty well cooled anyway, and a fair bit cheaper than special editions.
July 16, 2012 5:10:02 PM

Oh awesome! Thanks for the information guys. I didn't expect the i5 3570K to be such a capable CPU after reading that tomshardware in europe saw signs of bottleneck with their old i5 2500K setup

bigcyco1 said:
The GTX 670 is about 12-13% more "bang for the buck" than a 7950.The i5 won't bottleneck any card.

Wow still? I thought that with the 7950 price coming down to $350 and getting a recommended buy at that price range, the "value per dollar" would be pretty similar.
I didn't realise the EVGA came with lifetime warranty! That and the high prices for the ASUS as well as the lack of them has pretty much sold me on the EVGA.

fizzle22 said:
Granted it already comes with a substantial OC, but there are better cards out there that will run much cooler and at higher clocks.

Oh? What cards are those? I thought that even in tomshardware's review ASUS was the coolest and highest clocked ignoring the bulky heavy Zotac? as for the EVGA, I couldn't really find much reviews to compare but i believe I saw one where it was comparable to the ASUS.
Also I am curious how much of an overclock did you manage on the Gigabyte?

coozie7 said:
If you're going to go multi-GPU, especialy with an overclock, I'd suggest a more powerful PSU is purchased at build time.


How do you calculate how powerful a PSU you need? I was calculating it based on the TDP of the 670 as 175W rounded to 200W then adding 100W for the CPU for a total of 500W. I think assumed another 150W on top of that should be sufficient to cover the other components and some slight extras for overclocking.

Yea I am hoping to get a case that is big enough so that it isnt all cramped and one with front intake fans at the bottom and an exhaust in the top rear to get optimal air flow.

Yeah I wasnt expecting much, but I was wondering how much more you might be able to squeeze out of them. I thought that the custom coolers were always much better cooled and quieter than the reference designs? I also read that the factory OC cards are usually better binned ones with the capability to overclock better. Is that just a rumour?
July 16, 2012 10:39:52 PM

k2e2ni said:

Oh? What cards are those? I thought that even in tomshardware's review ASUS was the coolest and highest clocked ignoring the bulky heavy Zotac? as for the EVGA, I couldn't really find much reviews to compare but i believe I saw one where it was comparable to the ASUS.
Also I am curious how much of an overclock did you manage on the Gigabyte?


Well it is merely my opinion, but ASUS, MSI, KFA2, and Palit from what I have read. I am not sure what the clocks are but in terms of cards with non-reference coolers, I would love to try those.

I haven't tried to really push my Gigabyte since it runs every game I have tried at a minimum of 60fps. For games like BF3 I use 110% power target, and +50MHz for both the core and memory offset with voltage at 1075mV. Highest I've gone (just for Unigine Heaven and 3DMark 11) is +75MHz core and memory offset without an issue. I have seen others push it past +100MHz.
a c 165 U Graphics card
July 16, 2012 11:49:43 PM

@k2e2ni:
This is handy for the PSU requirements.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

You're right about the Corsair 650W being enough for a single card, it might be a little stressed with CF/SLI and an overclocked CPU, and you did say you were going to overclock and, possibly, go CF/SLI later, hence the recommendation.
Sensible thinking with the case
Custom coolers are usually better, but they normally come with a factory overclock and price premium. Again , you did say you were going to overclock and you'll probably get more out of a stock card than one that is already highly strung.
And always remember: Overclocking is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you're going to get. ;) 
July 23, 2012 2:47:48 PM

coozie7 said:
@k2e2ni:
This is handy for the PSU requirements.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

You're right about the Corsair 650W being enough for a single card, it might be a little stressed with CF/SLI and an overclocked CPU, and you did say you were going to overclock and, possibly, go CF/SLI later, hence the recommendation.
Sensible thinking with the case
Custom coolers are usually better, but they normally come with a factory overclock and price premium. Again , you did say you were going to overclock and you'll probably get more out of a stock card than one that is already highly strung.
And always remember: Overclocking is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you're going to get. ;) 


Ah right that is a handy calculator once I figured out how to use it! Thought the grey buttons were unclickable.
Yeah using that calculator it does say the 650W is enough if I only overclock the CPU to 4Ghz and have 10% capacitor aging. But I had to use the GTX680 since it doesnt have an option for the GTX 670 which is probably reasonable to account for overclocking.
I wonder where all that extra 150W goes.
Ahhh I am not so fussed about how much higher I can overclock it. I am more interested at the top speed it can be overclocked to. Gotcha, it would be nice to get a good chip that can push high :) 



Thanks for all your replies guys!!
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 2:51:57 PM

A quality 650w with a single 12v rail is enough. Dont forget the GTX670 series is a power efficient card and works on lower wattage compared to last years power guzzlers.

i5 ivy bridge and gtx 670 will unlock the highest potential so the gear you have is perfect.

ONE thing you didnt mention is your motehrboard, MAKE SURE that you are running chipset Z77 or above.

This will enable Virtualisation MVP and etc which should bolter your fps.
!