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Help pick GPU,Motherboard & PSU

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September 13, 2012 3:05:49 PM

Hello, I'm building myself a mid-range gaming pc for the first time, but got stuck with some of the components, so I'm asking for your help.
These are the specs of my pc so far:
Intel core i5-3550
Seagate Barracuda 3.5'' 1TB SATA3
2x DDR3 Crucial SpecTek 4GB 1333MHz
DRW Samsung SH-222BB

And these are the components that I'm asking your help to pick from:

1. Motherboard. Which one of these motherboards should i get: MSI B75A-G43, ASRock B75 PRO3-M,Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H or some other at the similar price range?

2. GPU. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti or Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC ?

3.And finally, what PSU should i get for this pc ?

The price range of my pc is about $1000 when converted to dollars. Thanks for your help in advance :) 
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 13, 2012 3:16:48 PM

1. Asus, ASRock, and Gigabyte are my preferred motherboards. I would choose the ASRock unless the Gigabyte board has some particular feature you want.
2. HD7870, especially if you prefer to turn on AA in your games.
3. A quality 500W PSU will be sufficient. Seasonic does not know how to make a bad PSU, so anything made by them (Seasonic, XFX, some Corsair, some Antec) will be suitable. Other Antec made by Delta or FSP are good. Newer FSP models are good, as are Enermax/LEPA. Avoid anything that is not 80+ certified, if only because it will not have been tested at 100% of its label and might be overrated. The FSP-made Antec VP series is an exception; they are efficient enough to be certified (and the VP450 got a Golden Award at HardwareSecrets), but lack active PFC, so are disqualified from 80+.
a b V Motherboard
September 13, 2012 4:23:18 PM

1) Not the MSI, otherwise doesn't matter.
2) Both are pretty much the same, doesn't matter.
3) XFX Pro 550w Core to make it easy on you.
Related resources
September 13, 2012 4:52:41 PM

Raiddinn said:

3) XFX Pro 550w Core to make it easy on you.


XFX Pro 550w Core seems pretty good, but there's no XFX products in my country :(  So maybe you could recommend some other company or I should just take any PSU that's 80+ certified?


Onus said:
1. Asus, ASRock, and Gigabyte are my preferred motherboards. I would choose the ASRock unless the Gigabyte board has some particular feature you want.
2. HD7870, especially if you prefer to turn on AA in your games.
3. A quality 500W PSU will be sufficient. Seasonic does not know how to make a bad PSU, so anything made by them (Seasonic, XFX, some Corsair, some Antec) will be suitable. Other Antec made by Delta or FSP are good. Newer FSP models are good, as are Enermax/LEPA. Avoid anything that is not 80+ certified, if only because it will not have been tested at 100% of its label and might be overrated. The FSP-made Antec VP series is an exception; they are efficient enough to be certified (and the VP450 got a Golden Award at HardwareSecrets), but lack active PFC, so are disqualified from 80+.


How about Cooler master GX-550W (RS-550-ACAA-D3) http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6641 or PSU Corsair GS Series, ATX Power Supply 500W CP-9020005-EU ?
a b V Motherboard
September 13, 2012 5:14:13 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
September 13, 2012 5:42:30 PM

I somewhat disagree with jtt on the PSU rating. As long as a reputable site recommends it (hardocp, hardwaresecrets, jonnyguru, hardwarecanucks), it will be a good PSU.
September 13, 2012 5:54:04 PM

I've found this list to be helpful for PSU selection (and in the few cases that I've checked, it's been pretty accurate): http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx as azeem40 suggested, you would be best to check any purchase you plan to make with the sites he suggested. I do agree with the list jtt gave as well :) , though there are other PSUs that can be considered, his is a good short list.

I would go with the 7870 as well. It's a great card (My reference 7870 put out 110 FPS in skyrim on Ultra in 3d). I haven't done my homework on the 660ti myself, but I've heard it wasn't the 7870 killer everyone hoped for (though it maybe that it's just close enough that brand preference is a good enough reason to go one way or the other).


edit: I see that the site I've linked looks like it's down, so if you have trouble accessing now, it's not just you, and you should try back later :) 
September 13, 2012 7:00:02 PM

djscribbles said:
I've found this list to be helpful for PSU selection (and in the few cases that I've checked, it's been pretty accurate): http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx as azeem40 suggested, you would be best to check any purchase you plan to make with the sites he suggested. I do agree with the list jtt gave as well :) , though there are other PSUs that can be considered, his is a good short list.

I would go with the 7870 as well. It's a great card (My reference 7870 put out 110 FPS in skyrim on Ultra in 3d). I haven't done my homework on the 660ti myself, but I've heard it wasn't the 7870 killer everyone hoped for (though it maybe that it's just close enough that brand preference is a good enough reason to go one way or the other).


edit: I see that the site I've linked looks like it's down, so if you have trouble accessing now, it's not just you, and you should try back later :) 


Yes, the website is down at the moment so I'll try it tomorrow. And the thing about 660ti is that it was the card that i was waiting for almost half a year to come out, but when it did, it just wasn't as good as I esspected and the price in my country is quite high, it is around $60 more expensive that 7870 and the only 2 advantages it has over 7870 that I see is Nvidia PsysX and 10-20% higher FPS on Battlefield 3, but I guess that's not enough to pay almost $60 more.
September 13, 2012 7:30:07 PM

i would go with gigabyte ga-h77-d3h

660ti >> 7870 anytime

you can take any branded 500w+ psu and you should be fine. (i would take corsair gs 600, good price, good quality)


if u can buy 7950 for same price as 660ti (like i did), go with 7950.
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 13, 2012 10:43:13 PM

There are exceptions to the 80+ rule (like the Antec VP450), but of course a competent technical review (not consumer-rating fluff), if available, is best; I tried to provide a "quick and dirty" guide.
Unfortunately, CM is an exception that goes the other way. Most of their PSUs are near-junk, and even the GX-650 was summarized by HardOCP as "a polished turd in a box." Their dishonesty in labeling is why I cannot recommend ANY of their products, even unrelated ones (which may be good), because dishonesty should have consequences. HardwareSecrets has also reviewed a lot of their offerings, and exposed a lot of their lies.
The GTX660Ti generally benchmarks better than the HD7870, BUT its crippled compute performance makes me very leery of it. What if a killer game comes out that benefits from OpenCL? If you've bought a Kepler, you might feel shafted. I think the HD7870 is "good enough" to play with very good settings at 1920x1080, and the small improvement the GTX660Ti offers just isn't worth the risk, IMHO.
September 14, 2012 4:05:08 PM

mladen88bl said:
i would go with gigabyte ga-h77-d3h

660ti >> 7870 anytime

you can take any branded 500w+ psu and you should be fine. (i would take corsair gs 600, good price, good quality)


if u can buy 7950 for same price as 660ti (like i did), go with 7950.


Thanks, I think I might be getting a gigabyte ga-h77-d3h because of the B75 only has 1 SATA 3.0 6gb/s port and I need at least 2, because I'm planing to get a SSD later. The 7950 looks good but I don't know if I'll be able to afford it at the moment cause it's 50$ more expensive than gigabyte 660Ti, although the Saphire 7950 is the same price as MSI 660ti PE so it might be a good deal.
September 14, 2012 4:15:18 PM

Onus said:
There are exceptions to the 80+ rule (like the Antec VP450), but of course a competent technical review (not consumer-rating fluff), if available, is best; I tried to provide a "quick and dirty" guide.
Unfortunately, CM is an exception that goes the other way. Most of their PSUs are near-junk, and even the GX-650 was summarized by HardOCP as "a polished turd in a box." Their dishonesty in labeling is why I cannot recommend ANY of their products, even unrelated ones (which may be good), because dishonesty should have consequences. HardwareSecrets has also reviewed a lot of their offerings, and exposed a lot of their lies.
The GTX660Ti generally benchmarks better than the HD7870, BUT its crippled compute performance makes me very leery of it. What if a killer game comes out that benefits from OpenCL? If you've bought a Kepler, you might feel shafted. I think the HD7870 is "good enough" to play with very good settings at 1920x1080, and the small improvement the GTX660Ti offers just isn't worth the risk, IMHO.


OK then I'm definitely not getting a 660ti anymore, I'll take 7870 or maybe 7950, if it fits to my price. So the last thing left is the PSU I found few that looks pretty good to me and they all have 80+ rating. There they are:
PSU Fortron FSP600-80BPN (85+) 600W (does the 85+ mean that it's even more efficient? and also one tech dude actually said few weeks ago that I should get a Fortron PSU so are they good at all? );
CHIEFTEC PSU ATX 550W PFC 14CM 80+;
Corsair Builder V2 600W 80 Plus CMPSU-600CXV2EU;
HERMALTAKE SMART PSU 630W 12CM 80+WHITE SP-630PCWEU
OCZ ZS 550W, 80 Plus Bronze, 13.5cm OCZ-ZS550W-EU.
So which one should i get? Because they all are almost at the same price. And also if I would be able to get the 7950 all of these PSUs be enough for it ?
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 14, 2012 9:52:02 PM

Fortron is FSP, which is decent. I'd take that one first, and the Corsair Builder (made by CWT, not Seasonic) second.
I do not trust the long term reliability of the others; ymmv.
September 15, 2012 1:28:57 PM

Onus said:
Fortron is FSP, which is decent. I'd take that one first, and the Corsair Builder (made by CWT, not Seasonic) second.
I do not trust the long term reliability of the others; ymmv.


OK, so I'm taking Fortron FSP then. And one last question: Is it worth to cheap out on some off the components, for example, take Gigabyte b75 motherboard instead of Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H and take a 500gb HDD instead of 1tb one, to get a 7950 instead of 7870?
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 15, 2012 4:50:36 PM

If it were me, no, but your opinions may be different than mine. I don't mind lowering a setting or two (although you won't have to in most games with a HD7870), and I prefer reliability; I'd take a 500GB WD Black with its five year warranty over a 1TB Seagate with only two years.
September 15, 2012 5:39:44 PM

Onus said:
If it were me, no, but your opinions may be different than mine. I don't mind lowering a setting or two (although you won't have to in most games with a HD7870), and I prefer reliability; I'd take a 500GB WD Black with its five year warranty over a 1TB Seagate with only two years.


Then it is settled I'm getting a 7870. Do you think it's worth getting a MSI Hawk 7870 or I should just get Sapphire 7870 ghz edition OC?
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 15, 2012 5:58:10 PM

I believe MSI has better quality.
September 15, 2012 6:28:15 PM

Onus said:
I believe MSI has better quality.

But is that worth to pau 20$ more?
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 15, 2012 11:17:24 PM

I would if I could afford it.
September 15, 2012 11:28:12 PM

Onus said:
If it were me, no, but your opinions may be different than mine. I don't mind lowering a setting or two (although you won't have to in most games with a HD7870), and I prefer reliability; I'd take a 500GB WD Black with its five year warranty over a 1TB Seagate with only two years.

And I'd rather deal with the 2 year warranty for more space. Space is more important than a warranty.
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 15, 2012 11:38:50 PM

^See? Neither point of view is wrong; they're just different.
September 15, 2012 11:55:52 PM

But the way you posted seemed so to me.
September 17, 2012 2:34:34 PM

Thanks for all your help :)  Getting my new PC later this week. And these are the final specs:
Intel core i5-3550
Seagate Barracuda 3.5'' 1TB SATA3
2x DDR3 Crucial SpecTek 4GB 1333MHz
MSI Radeon HD 7870 Hawk
Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H
DRW LG GH24NS90
PSU Fortron FSP600-80BPN (85+) 600W
a c 115 V Motherboard
September 17, 2012 2:47:22 PM

Sounds good. I think you'll be happy with it.
!