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First Gaming PC Build 1000-1500 Budget

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September 8, 2012 4:30:58 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week i'll start ordering parts on sale @ newegg and finish up before next week

Budget Range: 1000-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, listening to music

Are you buying a monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I already have this one ---^ If you guys could tell me what you think about it, i'd appreciate it!

Parts to Upgrade: everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Location: Tennessee, United States
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIA Graphics

Overclocking: occasionally
SLI or Crossfire: No, single GPU

Your Monitor Resolution: the 22 inch HP monitor I listed above--it should run 1080p, I just have to figure out what kind of cord to get because I don't think it has an HDMI slot, only VGA and DVI

I am building this computer to increase my frame rate in Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2. I've had my Dell XPS for over a year now, and it just doesn't have great frame rate for gaming.

Everything listed will be bought from newegg.com

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K 230$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED 61$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Honestly, i'm not too sure about which cooler to get, my friend told me the Zalman one I listed above is the best. Could use some more input on this part, thanks guys.

GPU: MSI N660Ti PE 2GD5 GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 300$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
EVGA 02G-P4-3660-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 300$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These both seem to be very good. The MSI is blue though to help my color scheme--it also seems to have the best qualities when compared to the other brands according to
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/3117/11/six-geforce-gtx...

PSU: SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply 160$ (20% off w/ promo code EMCNANC35, ends 9/13)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM 20$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: this is where I run into a problem. The Western Digital 500GB HDDs are out of stock currently. I wanted just a 500GB so I could buy a SSD eventually. I really just won't be using up a whole lot of space. For now i'm going to say the HDD will cost me 100$ if I am left with only the option to go with a 1TB WD HDD.

Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS 150$ (130$ after 20$ rebate + $20 promotional gift card w/ purchase, ends 9/10)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Windowed Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 90$ (10% off w/ promo code EMCNANC34, ends 9/13)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I might go back and change my case last minute, but this one will do for now. I like Cooler Master cases, but not the red LED ones.

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B 46$ (15% off w/ promo code:EMCNANC48, ends 9/8)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM 100$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost: 1209.1 USD NOT including rebate

I'd just like to thank everyone ahead of time for looking at my thread! :D  Any feedback or input will be greatly appreciated.
September 8, 2012 7:24:40 AM

azeem40 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That one is in stock and is $70.


And for $20 more, you can double the capacity and increase the speed.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also that monitor wont run 1080p. Its resolution is 1680x1050. 1080p requires a 1920x1080/1200 resolution screen.

On to the system

CPU is good.

You can get a cheaper cooler that will still support moderate overclocks.
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU is meh in my opinion. At this budget you can easily afford better.

That is a very nice PSU, but I imagine you can get a cheaper unit that will do just as well. Remember that the Gold rating is only 5% more efficient than a Bronze rating, and you are looking at a price difference of $50 between them.
Corsair Enthusiast 750M, 80+ Bronze semi-modular. $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical's fine, any $20 SATA drive will do nowadays.

Its a good board, but again, you can get cheaper that will do the same.
AsRock Z77 Extreme4. $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Actually has two more SATAIII ports.

Case is good, but you can still get better at this budget.

You want low profile RAM, those massive heat-fins will get in the way of aftermarket coolers.
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Blue 8GB (2x4GB), 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS is good.

If you have $1500 to spend, I would advise spending it. If you are unwilling to spend that much, lower the budget to reflect that.
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September 8, 2012 5:29:33 PM

I'd like to try to budget this build for under 1300. Sorry, I guess I should've said that in my thread title but it seems like i'm doing just fine spending 1209 dollars. Now I guess I have some wiggle room to increase a part or two.. like my graphics?
Again, thanks so much for the help guys!
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September 8, 2012 5:45:45 PM

This build allows you the option to add another one of those cards later on in SLI.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $144.98 save: $15.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebate FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-... $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $157.98 save: $8.00
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $519.98 save: $20.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $33.49 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $89.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDOO/ref=ox_sc_a... $134.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,278.31 *not including shippping & rebates


http://usa.asus.com/Display/LCD_Monitors/VS228HP/ <----- another look at that monitor

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_660_Ti_Power... <----- review of that MSI GTX 660 ti w/benchmarks

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/ <----- another look at that Asrock board along with a link to the latest bios
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September 8, 2012 7:03:35 PM

Hello buddy, get this:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 612 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($49.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($86.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($413.78 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.93 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($111.71 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($172.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1505.29

Read this
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September 9, 2012 1:59:17 AM

Quote:
Also that monitor wont run 1080p. Its resolution is 1680x1050. 1080p requires a 1920x1080/1200 resolution screen.

What resolutions will my monitor run? If I can save 150$+ and use the one I have, that would be great. I'll be playing SWTOR and Guild Wars 2 most of the time.

Also, on several of these parts, I don't mind spending an extra 5-15$ for better brands like ASUS, especially when it matches my other parts.

The only reason i'm spending more and buying the seasonic 750 is that it's 20% off and it's the best brand i'm told because they make their own parts.

The only things in question for my build would be which HDD to get. I wanted to get a Caviar BLACK because i'm hearing that it's quicker than the Blue and Green. But.. I also heard that if i'm using a SDD, the Caviar Blue would be a better choice. Can someone explain this to me?

Lastly, I might try to find a different case. I'm looking for one around 100$. Obviously with this build I won't need a ton of space. If someone can show me a blue LED one, that would be amazing. Once again, I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my thread for my first build!
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September 9, 2012 2:05:17 AM

hmille0 said:
Quote:
Also that monitor wont run 1080p. Its resolution is 1680x1050. 1080p requires a 1920x1080/1200 resolution screen.

What resolutions will my monitor run? If I can save 150$+ and use the one I have, that would be great. I'll be playing SWTOR and Guild Wars 2 most of the time.

Also, on several of these parts, I don't mind spending an extra 5-15$ for better brands like ASUS, especially when it matches my other parts.

The only reason i'm spending more and buying the seasonic 750 is that it's 20% off and it's the best brand i'm told because they make their own parts.

The only things in question for my build would be which HDD to get. I wanted to get a Caviar BLACK because i'm hearing that it's quicker than the Blue and Green. But.. I also heard that if i'm using a SDD, the Caviar Blue would be a better choice. Can someone explain this to me?

Lastly, I might try to find a different case. I'm looking for one around 100$. Obviously with this build I won't need a ton of space. If someone can show me a blue LED one, that would be amazing. Once again, I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my thread for my first build!
Quote:

Well it's a good deal you came here for advice or you might have gone ahead and ordered that Seasonic psu which is a hose job imo for anyone with a budget under $2,000. Seasonic manufactures all the psu's for XFX, the majority of the psu's for Corsair and a few for some other manufactures.

Another note. One is a storage drive and the other is an SSD. You want the SSD fast for gaming and the OS, but with the storage drive it doesn't matter if it's fast or not seeing how it's a "storage drive". If you hold off on an SSD until later on that just means you have to reformat which is a bummer imo.
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September 9, 2012 2:38:29 AM

^+1

Caviar Black isn't noticeably faster than a Caviar Blue. Neither is any other hard drive compared to each other. As long as they spin at 7200 RPM, a SATA 2 vs SATA 3 will have 0 difference in real world. An SSD on the other hand. So much faster and more responsive.

That Seasonic even with 20% isn't even close to worth it. Seasonic may be good but doesn't mean that it is always necessary. Asus is the same, terrible price/performance. The only difference seperating a Seasonic gold and something like a Sirtec (another PSU OEM) bronze is a few percent in efficiency. You wouldn't even notice it, but you'd be saving about $60.

Asus price performance on motherboards = garbage: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-extreme6-z77a-g...

You can save the money on the monitor and just go with your 1680x1050, it would be fine. As stated "Its resolution is 1680x1050"
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September 9, 2012 5:18:55 AM

I really know nothing about building computers so just bear with me here please. I understand I need a storage unit and I can use the SSD for gaming. BUT... is it possible to use an External Hard Drive for my storage and a SSD for the main? I've got one of these I found unopened in my house.
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=western+digita...

It's either that or i'll just have to buy a 500gb WD Caviar Blue (since the Caviar Black 500gb is out of stock) and get a good SSD. What are some good SDD?

My LAST thing I actually need assistance with in my first build: I can either buy the ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA for 150$ (20$ rebate + 20$ promo gift card)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
ASUS P8Z77-V LGA for 190$ (but get G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB DDR3 1600 ram for free)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB DDR3 1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The free ram looks very nice. Do I get all I need from the LK board? or is it worth getting the LGA board and getting more sata ports or w/e?

Thanks guys.

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September 9, 2012 5:20:35 AM

And is that ram even sufficient for my build? Or should I save money by buying the LK board and buy some G.SKILL Ripjaws X ram or Corsair Vengeance.
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September 9, 2012 5:22:31 AM

Yes, external hard drives were designed for portable and convenient storage, so you're good.
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September 9, 2012 5:41:32 AM

Always get internal storage, its faster than any plug-in storage solution (with the exception of Thunderbolt or SSD options) will be. Also while SSD price/capacity is becoming much better, it will still be very expensive to get an SSD large enough to hold everything you need. Generally you get an SSD to hold Windows, important programs and games. Then a HDD to have the leftover games/programs and mass storage.

This is my SSD of choice, I have had no problems with mine. It is currently one of the fastest on the market.
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why get a Caviar Blue 500GB? For $10 more you can double the capacity and increase the speed.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital drives are very expensive, they still haven't altered their prices from the aftermath of the floods. Seagate has lowered their price aggressively, and have reaped the benefits. The Seagate Barracuda and Caviar Black are roughly the same (benchmarks have the Barracuda as a bit faster), and a $30 price difference between the 1TB models. No reason for WD drives in my opinion.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2012/-34-...

I would get the P8Z77-V with the free RAM. When you add the RAM's value onto the LK board, you get the ~same cost as the non LK board, and you get some extra features (2 more SATAIII ports, inbuilt wireless, Displayport on the board, etc) on the board.

Though as Shinobi pointed out, ASUS boards are generally very expensive compared to what you get. An AsRock Z77 Extreme4 has most of the important features of the P8Z77-V and is much cheaper.

That is a good RAM kit. Only reason I would change from that is if you wanted a different colour.
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September 9, 2012 5:54:45 AM

He already has an EHDD unopened.
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September 9, 2012 6:12:46 AM

manofchalk and azeem, thanks so much for the help :)  you are lifesavers

And yes I have one of these: http://www.manualowl.com/m/Western%20Digital/WD3200C032...

Will this work? Manofchalk just said internal HDD are quicker..


i'm also told I could go with a 7870 instead of a 660ti but I really like the msi 660ti, it's even blue.. but saving 50$ is nice! or even the evga 660ti
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September 9, 2012 6:15:05 AM

It will work. No need to get anything.
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September 9, 2012 6:26:29 AM

Using a plug-in device as permanent storage doesn't sit right with me. I personally have a 500GB external drive that I use to carry data around if I need to, but that's its purpose, to be portable.
I still think that for permanent storage, an internal drive is a better option.

Running CrystalDiskMark on both my external 500GB WD Passport (not yours exactly I know) connected by USB3 (yours is USB2), and my Seagate Barracuda 1TB connected by SATAIII (Same drive I suggested). Will post back with the results.

You could get the Gigabyte or Sapphire HD7870, they have a blue PCB.
Gigabyte HD7870. $260 ($20 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 9, 2012 6:35:37 AM

I agree with manofchalk. Yes I could use the EDD and save 60-80$, but the fact that it will be out of my case and has a slower transfer rate seems kind of pointless :/ 

I guess the last order of business will be to decide between the 7870 and the 660ti

OH and if somebody will show me the combo deals on all of my parts that would be great. Sorry i'm trying to locate the combo deals on newegg but I don't understand how...
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September 9, 2012 6:37:57 AM

Get neither. Pay the $20 more and get a Sapphire 7950.
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September 9, 2012 6:44:59 AM

I guess its telling that the Internal drive test was done before the External had even gotten quarter way through. Both are connected by fastest realistically available mediums, so bottle-necking by lack of bandwidth is either non-existent or unavoidable.

All the readings are in MB/s
Seagate Barracuda 1TB, SATAIII connection.
Seq Read: 181.3
Seq Write: 171.1
512k Read: 45.05
512k Write: 84.66
4k Read: .477
4k Write: 1.173

WD Passport 500GB external, USB3 connection. AsRock XFast USB may have been on, not sure. was not on.
Seq Read: 38.5
Seq Write: 34.86
512k Read: 19.2
512K Write: 26.15
4k Read: .303
4k Write: 1.173
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September 9, 2012 6:55:00 AM

I like this combo deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660ti
+
I5-3570K
=520$

But.... then there's the 7870 and the 7950. Guess I should quit thinking so hard and go with the msi 660ti. Should I get the OC version with this build or the non-OC PE?
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September 9, 2012 6:59:45 AM

hmille0 said:
I like this combo deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660ti
+
I5-3570K
=520$

But.... then there's the 7870 and the 7950. Guess I should quit thinking so hard and go with the msi 660ti. Should I get the OC version with this build or the non-OC PE?

That's the same combo I posted in that build up above...you know the build that came under $1300 and included a 1080 HDMI monitor. I even linked benchmarks for that card. If you can get a better build than the one I posted for that price then good luck. And no I don't use PC Part Pcker. I leave that to the noobs.
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September 9, 2012 7:04:06 AM

Well then I need Why_Me to find me a non OC combo if there is one, saving 20$ would be nice. The only thing that worries me is when I see several benchmarks saying the 7870 is either equal to or better than the 660ti...
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September 9, 2012 7:04:24 AM

I would get the non OC card then clock the thing yourself. Factory overclocks (especially on AMD cards) tend to be quite conservative anyway, and can be pushed further.

Though there is the argument that factory OC'd cards have higher binned (ie quality) components on them because they are meant to hold a higher than stock speed. The cards should be identical hardware wise though (Some manufacturers like EVGA do use different hardware between their normal and OC cards, but they are the exception).
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September 9, 2012 7:17:39 AM

hmille0 said:
Well then I need Why_Me to find me a non OC combo if there is one, saving 20$ would be nice. The only thing that worries me is when I see several benchmarks saying the 7870 is either equal to or better than the 660ti...

MSI bins their cards so the OC version OC's even higher and the non OC version's don't OC all that much. Now take into account that card is combo'd do save $20. As far as the 660 ti vs the 7870 it comes down to games you play and sometimes budget. If your a BF3 player (and BF3 players normally stick that game and that game only) then it's Nvidia all the way seeing how that game is coded for Nvidia and SLI. If you play a variety of games then use google and check the benchmarks along with the drivers used when they did those benches.
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September 9, 2012 7:38:39 AM

yeah the 7950 is better than the 7870 and the 660ti, but i'm not trying to spend that much. I might as well buy a 670 since i'd prefer nvidia if I wanted to spend that much.

I'm going to be playing Star wars the old republic and guild wars 2.

I'm going with the MSI OC 660ti I believe now. So many brands I can go with and it was down to either the 7870 or the 660ti. EVGA OC 660ti is good too.
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September 9, 2012 8:27:53 AM

Final question and i'll close this thread. With my build, should I get the

MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR the non-OC card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And if I get the OC MSI card, will the 212 EVO be a sufficient cooler?

Basically I just want to make sure most of the parts I listed are compatible
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September 9, 2012 5:51:15 PM

Bump
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Best solution

September 10, 2012 6:32:15 AM

Its all compatible, no issue with that.

Either will be fine, it depends if you are willing to overclock it yourself or believe that OC have better quality components in them. If you are sure you can get the rebate on the OC card (or dont mind the $10 difference), I would get the OC'd card.

The 212 EVO is a CPU cooler, not a GPU. The Graphics card has its own cooler built into it.
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September 12, 2012 4:56:48 AM

Best answer selected by hmille0.
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