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My 'Under $1000' Christmas Build?

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September 7, 2012 1:23:41 AM

Hello,
I've got a couple of serious questions regarding my planned $1000 build. Here are my chosen components:

MOBO: ASUS M5A97
GPU: XFX Double D HD 7850
CPU: Phenom II x4 965 Black Edition
PSU: Corsair CX600
SSD: Corsair Force 60GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB
Sound: Soundblaster Recon3D
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

And as for a disk drive, I'm getting a basic $20 ASUS model. My friend that is building the PC will be giving me a copy of Windows 7 HP free.

First question, compatability issues? I see none, but I could have easily missed something.

Also, have any of you ever tried these parts before. How'd they work out?

Most importantly, however, are my two main questions: one, what are the differences between the FX-4100 and the Phenom II x4? Is one of them better for gaming? I've read mixed opinions, and I can't decide. Second, is the HD 7850 the 6950 and more? Does the HD 6950 have any advantages over the 7850? Is one of them better for gaming? Please, let me know.

Thanks guys for your time. I hope you'll be able to help ease my worry that I'm gonna screw this up somehow.

More about : 1000 christmas build

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 2:22:35 AM

You'd get much better performance in games with the following build...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($338.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $983.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-08 22:20 EDT-0400)

For a $1000 rig, I wouldn't go with AMD. You can get more performance out of an intel build at your price range. There's also no need for 16gb of RAM; 8gb will more than get the job done...especially for gaming.

Other than that, everything else looks good. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.
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September 9, 2012 3:35:41 AM

DeusAres said:
You'd get much better performance in games with the following build...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($338.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $983.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-08 22:20 EDT-0400)

For a $1000 rig, I wouldn't go with AMD. You can get more performance out of an intel build at your price range. There's also no need for 16gb of RAM; 8gb will more than get the job done...especially for gaming.

Other than that, everything else looks good. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.


So, I'm assuming you have this system. Can it handle pretty much anything? Do you do anything with Sony Vegas or WMM? Most importantly, how is the sound on that board? I listen to a lot of music, and I would really hate for the drivers to have a compressor that makes everything sound super icky on it. Are there any sound options that you can tweak?
Thanks for your suggestion, dude. I'm actually leaning towards this build now.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 3:39:44 AM

jss239 said:
So, I'm assuming you have this system. Can it handle pretty much anything? Do you do anything with Sony Vegas or WMM? Most importantly, how is the sound on that board? I listen to a lot of music, and I would really hate for the drivers to have a compressor that makes everything sound super icky on it. Thanks for your suggestion, dude. I'm actually leaning towards this build now.


Onboard sound is usually stellar with all the new motherboards. I wouldn't expect this to be any different. Just hook up your favorite headset or speakers and enjoy.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 4:01:49 AM

+1 to parts list above. Very modest rig for the price, great performance from the HD7950.
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September 9, 2012 8:56:00 AM

Maybe a 670? I'm not an Nvidia fanboy, as you can probably tell from my tag, but still recognise that for the price-per-dollar the 670 is amazing in this range. Besides my opinion, the build by DeusAres is amazing for that price, +1000000.

P.S. The onboard sound is great, don't worry!
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 1:41:26 PM

Thrallsman said:
Maybe a 670? I'm not an Nvidia fanboy, as you can probably tell from my tag, but still recognise that for the price-per-dollar the 670 is amazing in this range. Besides my opinion, the build by DeusAres is amazing for that price, +1000000.

P.S. The onboard sound is great, don't worry!


The gtx 670 is a great card, but it's $100 out of his budget. The HD 7950 can be overclocked to similar levels of the GTX 670 anyhow.

Either way, the OP will have lots of fun with his new toy. :) 
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September 9, 2012 6:58:04 PM

DeusAres said:
The gtx 670 is a great card, but it's $100 out of his budget. The HD 7950 can be overclocked to similar levels of the GTX 670 anyhow.

Either way, the OP will have lots of fun with his new toy. :) 


Yeah. The GTX looks cool, but the 7950 is cheaper and judging from what I've seen on Youtube videos, reviews, etc. it'll be plenty of bang for my buck.

PS: Do you own this rig or any parts from this rig? I'd like to know of how it performs during specific games and such.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 8:29:58 PM

Which games do you wanna know about?

I don't specifically own this build...wished I did, lol. No money.

Anywho, I can find some benchmarks for ya. Just give me a list of a few games you plan on playing.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2012 10:36:36 PM

Games such as Battlefield 3 or Batman will often times play better on the GTX670 due to them being sponsored by Nvidia. But fear not, the HD7950 is still a better value IMO due to the massive OC and performance potential.

Both solutions will provide you with playable frame rates with modern titles, nothing to worry about IMO.
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September 9, 2012 11:46:48 PM

DeusAres said:
Which games do you wanna know about?

I don't specifically own this build...wished I did, lol. No money.

Anywho, I can find some benchmarks for ya. Just give me a list of a few games you plan on playing.


I'm definitely curious about Skyrim and the Crysis series. Also, I've heard that GTA 4 is notoriously hard to run due to poor optimization. I have a big TV so I don't usually use more than 4x AA or at the very most 8x AA. There are a couple of videos on Youtube, but not many from what I've found.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2012 1:00:39 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <==== BF3 benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <==== Crysis 2 benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <=== Skyrim benchmarks

Keep in mind, this is with 12.7 catalyst drivers. There's new drivers out now, so there may be even more increase in performance with the recent drivers. Also, I'm quite certain Tom's Hardware didn't even bother giving the HD 7950 a decent overclock, so these benchmarks are more than likely representing stock performance. If you overclock this bad boy, you're gonna see even better performance than what these benchmarks are showing.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2012 4:12:23 AM

DeusAres said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <==== BF3 benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <==== Crysis 2 benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-... <=== Skyrim benchmarks

Keep in mind, this is with 12.7 catalyst drivers. There's new drivers out now, so there may be even more increase in performance with the recent drivers. Also, I'm quite certain Tom's Hardware didn't even bother giving the HD 7950 a decent overclock, so these benchmarks are more than likely representing stock performance. If you overclock this bad boy, you're gonna see even better performance than what these benchmarks are showing.

Got ya covered ;) 

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_66... <- OC 660 Ti vs OC 670 vs OC 7950
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September 10, 2012 10:17:42 AM

Thanks guys. I'm really excited now. This system looks amazing.
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September 16, 2012 2:23:07 AM

DeusAres said:
Nice! +1

Forgot about that benchmark. :) 


So, guys. Many people are recommending the i5-2500k instead of the i5-3570k, because of OC potential and temperatures. Does anyone know if the system will suffer any if I go for the i5-2500k?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2012 5:21:03 AM

jss239 said:
So, guys. Many people are recommending the i5-2500k instead of the i5-3570k, because of OC potential and temperatures. Does anyone know if the system will suffer any if I go for the i5-2500k?

To be honest, it depends on what you want out of your CPU.

If you're looking to overclock the snot out of it, the i5 2500k is definitely the clear winner, however, if you're just looking for raw performance, there isn't an ounce of difference between the two.

i5 2500k's can usually go up to 4.9-5Ghz while i5 3570k's can go up to around 4.6-4.7Ghz

Now take into consideration that Ivy Bridge is around 5-7% faster clock for clock-

i5 3570k @ 4.7Ghz equivalent to i5 2500k @ 5Ghz

Add about 300Mhz onto what your Ivy Bridge chip is OC'd to, and you have your equivalent Sandy Bridge clock speed.
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December 2, 2012 4:42:34 PM

Best answer selected by jss239.
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December 2, 2012 4:45:03 PM

DeusAres said:
You'd get much better performance in games with the following build...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($338.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $983.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-08 22:20 EDT-0400)

For a $1000 rig, I wouldn't go with AMD. You can get more performance out of an intel build at your price range. There's also no need for 16gb of RAM; 8gb will more than get the job done...especially for gaming.

Other than that, everything else looks good. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.


http://pcpartpicker.com/p/quM6

This is the build I ended up going with. Thanks a lot. With your help, I'm not only getting an amazing PC, but I became knowledgeable enough about changing the build to fit my needs that I was able to cut it down to a cheap enough system to also afford the mouse and keyboard I wanted! Thanks. Don't know what I would do without Tom's Hardware!
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