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First Build, two step

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September 12, 2012 3:46:22 AM

Hi guys,
first time builder here
been spending some time looking over how everything works, separatly and togeather to make a gaming PC.

Im looking for a build that will perform well for GW2 WvW battles. Specifically to not lag in large scales battles (zergs) with a 1920x1080 resolution, and graphics settings better then medium. Im using WvW as an example because i think that would be the most strenuous one the PC, and because i might be there often :) 

My Build = http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hdB1

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory

Storage: A-Data S510 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card

Case: Rosewill R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply: Rosewill 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply



I want to play around with upgrading this build. Im interested in over clocking the processer, installing cooling hardware, updating the graphics cards (dual cards sounds cool), adding RAM and all that fun stuff. The problem is i want to buy a computer now that can play this game good, but slowly update it so that eventually it will play the game with ease while recording.

My plan is to get a video card that will run everything good now and get an additional one later that will make the two together be a good setup for 3-4 yr. I think that would save the cost of buying a GFX card now and a new better model one later.

Would i be able to drop to a lower quality card if this is my plan?
Can i mix an AMD graphics card with an Intel mobo+pcu?
i can get a free version of windows 7 32-bit, will this effect my quality? or should i buy 64-bit (or wait till windows 8 is out and buy v7 64-bit cheap) :) 
Will i need better memory then DDR3 1333hz ?
Will this power supply hold up? Im looking for 70-80% load after updating

I would really appreciate some advice on what kinds of upgrades would be worth while so i can incorporate them into my build now. For instance, right now i dont think i have the capability to hold 2 differnt Graphics cards, or overclock to anything signifigant.

Thanks in advance for any input!

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September 12, 2012 4:41:37 AM

Would i be able to drop to a lower quality card if this is my plan?
I wouldn't not for those kind of games I'd go with a 560ti or a HD77XX-78XX.

Can i mix an AMD graphics card with an Intel mobo+pcu?
Sure AMD card are great. Power supplys arent locked to on brand(amd/intel) or the other, I would advise HD7850. the Vaporx HD7770 in crossfire in a pinch, but I havent used those since the 5770 they may not be the guns they were. Wait for me to get back to you on the 7770s if you can.

i can get a free version of windows 7 32-bit, will this effect my quality? or should i buy 64-bit (or wait till windows 8 is out and buy v7 64-bit cheap) :) 
Buy Windows 7 64 bit (pro if you plan on using 4x 8gb dimms later home only supports up to 16gb(only 16gb look how far we have come)

Will i need better memory then DDR3 1333hz ?
Need no. Ivy and sandy love 1600mhz tho.

Will this power supply hold up? Im looking for 70-80% load after updating
No you will need more power for SLI. 750 is best for 2 card crossfire/sli.


The 550ti is okay but not as good as some. I dont know who it would handel such Games at those rez's.

My questions:

Whats the budget and how is is it split mate? (prefered and max bugets please)

Where in the world are you?

Does it have to be Intel?

Are you looking into OCing?

Your putting it together right?

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September 12, 2012 4:42:53 AM

Also a 32 bit version of Windows 7 will only use 3.5 GB of your RAM, so if you want to use 8 GB you will need the 64 bit version. Just pay a little bit more for some Corsair Vengence to get 1600hz, your Ivy Bridge CPU will make full use of it.
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September 12, 2012 3:51:56 PM

Btw, if the SSD is going to be your C: drive, follow this excellent tutorial to clean install Win7 on it. It will keep you from avoiding pitfalls associated with SSD/Operating System installations. There are a few 'peculiarities' with proper O/S installs on a SSD. The tutorial also has some good pointers for getting the most speed out of the SSD, and keeping un-needed files from collecting on the precious space available.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-inst...
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September 12, 2012 9:53:55 PM

First off, Thank You all for replying!

@ clutchc: Agreed. I know ill have to back off on the settings for a smooth gameplay. I am okay with that as long as i can either upgrade the card later, or what i would be really interested in doing would be to add a second card. Doing this to create high res smooth game play later, because 1) i want to upgrade and play around with my new toy 2) im not sure my budget will allow everything right now

Also, Thank you for telling my about the SSD & OS install, that is some very vital information!

And, I see your setup is similar to what im looking for, how do you feel about having a sandy bridge vs ivy bridge? Do you feel an Ivy Bridge would be very beneficial to MMORPG PC gaming? The sandy can OC real nice and i only want what i need. Ill have to check the prices

Thank You

@ jk47_99: Somewhere i heard i would not use 2gb of vram, thanks for correcting this! And your right, my hard drive is pretty important, i shouldnt skip out on its quality. The HD 7850 looks real nice but that seems to me to be a card that can handle everything on its own. I may be mistaken here, but would i be able to buy a card that is maybe ~60-75% as good as this and then SLI/crossfire another one on later? Also, Thanks for telling me about Win 32-bit, ill defiantly have to purchase a 64-bit version, along with the 1660hz RAM if i get an ivy bridge!

Thank You

@ captainkall My budget is 1000 max and 800-900 ideally. USD because im in Eastern USA. Im not partial to any make, however ive been reading that the I5 is the best performing and most reliable chip for my price range. I am very interested in OC, I have no experiance with it but i would love to learn how and being a mechanic i love to mess around with adding hardware for cooling. Which brings me to your final question, YES! im putting it together lol
- Will i need windows pro for 16mb RAM?
- the 7770 GFX might be the ticket if it works ok now and two would run like a single higher end model.
- Ill get a 750watt and 1600hz ram

Thank You


Build v2 http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hgUY

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)

Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.98 @ NCIX US)

Case: Rosewill R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Rosewill 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($126.47 @ Amazon)

Total: $826.95
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


I think im down to mobo/cpu/gpu :) 
Thank You!
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September 13, 2012 12:24:39 AM

tetter said:
First off, Thank You all for replying!

@ clutchc: Agreed. I know ill have to back off on the settings for a smooth gameplay. I am okay with that as long as i can either upgrade the card later, or what i would be really interested in doing would be to add a second card. Doing this to create high res smooth game play later, because 1) i want to upgrade and play around with my new toy 2) im not sure my budget will allow everything right now

Also, Thank you for telling my about the SSD & OS install, that is some very vital information!

And, I see your setup is similar to what im looking for, how do you feel about having a sandy bridge vs ivy bridge? Do you feel an Ivy Bridge would be very beneficial to MMORPG PC gaming? The sandy can OC real nice and i only want what i need. Ill have to check the prices

Thank You


If your plan is to get a mid-range card now with the thought of adding a 2nd mid-range card later for CF/SLI, you may want to read this article on micro-stutter: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
My 2 GTX 570s haven't exibited m-s in any games I've owned, but my previous HD 6850 CF setup did. They say some people aren't suseptible to m-s. But I don't see how anyone could not be bothered by it. It appears as though your running below 30fps even when you are not.

The reason I have a SB config instead of an IB, is because the IB wasn't out at the time of my purchase. If I was building again, I would choose an IB. The i5-2500K is an O/C champ, but so is the i5-3570K. O/Cing your i5-3450 will be a lot more difficult due to it having a locked multiplier. I don't play MMORPG games, so I'll leave that for someone else to answer.

One other thought... you may want to consider going with a HDD and a smaller (less expensive) SSD to use as a cache drive. Then you could put the savings toward a faster card if gaming is your main interest. Intel's Smart Response SSD Caching Technology is easy to set up and after a few sessions, will make your entire system seem as fast as if it was all on a SSD. http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_set_up_int...
I have that on my system. I originally had the SSD set up as C: drive and my HDD as D: drive. But this is so much better. Everything is on one drive like normal, and I really can't tell any difference in speed from the SSD setup I had before.
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September 13, 2012 2:46:50 AM

I saw something about micro-stutter today while i was looking though some cards, and been thinking about my plan and maybe its not the best. This article looks real great, im growing to love tomshardware! lol

Also switched to getting a K series (been reading more and i wanna OC so... :)  ), and since the 3rd gen is ~$15 dollars more then the second gen, ill choose the the 3rs gen.

I do plan to get a HDD, but i was thinking i could hold off till black friday and snag one for a good price. With what your saying though is that i can install a SSD card later, and use it as "cache" for my HDD, which will in turn pretty much run my programs like i have a SSD? Ill read the article as soon i get though the GFX one.

Thanks for these great tips!
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September 13, 2012 3:03:44 AM

Technically, using the SSD as a cache for the HDD will never be quite as fast as using the SSD as the main drive. But the difference is un-noticable. At least to me. I just mentioned that option as a way to put your money towards a faster graphics card instead of the expensive large SSD. A cache SSD needs only be 60-64GB. In fact, that's all that IRST will allow. Here is a tutorial if you decide to go that route: http://www.overclock.net/t/1227655/how-to-set-up-intel-...
And here is an article with some testing of the IRST vs stand-alone SSD: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Intel-Smart-Resp...
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September 13, 2012 3:10:34 AM

So much to read! i love it haha

Im starting to get worried about micro-stutters. I was very excited to have a dual card system, even if just for aesthetics. I'll have to weigh this out some more.

Thank you again for all this pertinent info!
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September 13, 2012 3:10:56 AM

That build looks better, you will benifit from having a Ivy Bridge as it has native support for USB 3.0, PCI 3.0, SATA III, 1600 RAM.

You could buy another 7770 and cross fire them but you are limiting what you can do in the future, and also you are still limited by that 1 GB of VRAM on each card. However if you get a 7850, you can get another 7850 a year or two later and you'll have a system that lasts a lot longer, as two 7850's with their overclocking potiental can keep you gaming for a good few years at 1080p.

Get the SSD first, you'll have enough room for the OS and your games, and then buy the HDD later on when the prices drop.

Also any reason you want the professional edition of Windows 7? Unless there are some features in there that you really want, I'd suggest saving some money (which you should put towards the GPU) and getting the Home edition. Microsoft are doing an upgrade offer anyway, which will let you upgrade to Windows 8 Professional

http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US

Even if you can't redeem that offer, there is a general upgrade offer of $39.99.
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September 13, 2012 4:25:22 AM

I think i saw somewhere that the home edition didn't support 16MB RAM, i might have mis-read that. I'd gladly get home if that will work well.

I am going to pick a single card system, as much as i want a dual card setup, it just seems more cost effective to use one card, so i can have a less expensive MOBO and lower watt PSU (and no micro-stutters!) However now i have to bite the larger initial cost. If the 7850 was $50 less it would be a very easy decision lol

Thanks for taking the time here! Im gonna post a new build in a day or two, hope you come back :) 
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September 14, 2012 2:24:16 AM

Windows 7 Home Basic is 8gb, but you want Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, which will support 16 GB of RAM.

The 7850 is a great deal for that price, and now the GTX 660 and GTX 650 are out, you'll have a few more options.
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September 14, 2012 2:35:53 AM

Okay im done!

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ho69

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ Amazon)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($147.55 @ Newegg)

Case: Rosewill R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.26 @ Amazon)

Total: $861.31
(actually 846.19 after Newegg email discount and a mail in rebate, used amazon for the two listed)

Went with the best graphics card i could for my budget (which happened to be suggested in the first reply i got! [spot on cluchc!!])

Ill add a HDD and an evo 212 soon, and eventually just replace my GFX 560 as needed

Thank You Everyone that helped me, it REALLY did help me out ALOT!
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Best solution

September 14, 2012 3:27:22 AM

Looks good. I've used many Rosewill PSU's for budget builds and for higher end builds. They have all proven to be excellent for the money. I believe Rosewill is Newegg's in-house brand. My only complaint with them is a minor one; I've had to tap the mounting holes myself on several of them. For some reason, they weren't pre-tapped from the factory. Maybe I just was unlucky.

I'm sure you're aware, but I'll point it out anyway... the 2nd PCIe slot on the Asrock board being X4 electrically, won't be very good for going SLI in the future (if you ever get the urge). A 2nd card may even drag down the performance of the main card. But as long as that isn't an issue for you, that looks like a solid build.

The 3570K is a great processor and will O/C easily for you. And it will have the guts to handle any graphics card you throw at it in the future. And yes, get the 212 EVO cooler before you do any O/Cing. While you're waiting for the parts to arrive, read up on the motherboard manual that you can download from Asrock's site for the board. Enjoy.
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September 15, 2012 2:16:03 PM

Best answer selected by tetter.
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