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Building PC for the first time, spec and advice appreciated.

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September 14, 2012 12:16:30 PM

I'm finally getting around to putting together a PC from scratch and could use some advise. More precisely I actually need someone to check over my build primarily to ensure that all components are compatible with one another.


CPU Intel Core i7 3770K,1155, Ivy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.5GHz
GFX Card 2GB EVGA GTX 670 FTW
PSU 1000W SilverStone Tech. Strider Plus Full Modular, 80 PLUS Silver - 88% Eff'
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Intel Z77 Socket 1155 Ivybridge Ready Motherboard
Soundcard Asus Xonar DG 5.1 PCI Sound Card & Headphone Ampifier
RAM Corsair Memory Vengeance Low Profile Jet Black 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 10 XMP Dual Channel Desktop
Optical Drives LG GH24NS90 24x DVD±R, 16xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RWx6 ,12xRAM SATA
HDD Seagate 2TB SATA III Performance HDD ST2000DM001 7200rpm 64MB Cache 7200rpm SATA II Compatible
Heatsink Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel Socket LGA 2011Freezer i30 also for socket 1155/1156
Case Antec 900 Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case with 200m Top Fan w/o PSU

Does this look like an OK build?

Specifically My questions are;

Is the z77 chipset of the MoBo compatible with the Ivy bridge i7 I have chosen?
Is the dual channel Ram the correct type for that particular MoBo?


Regarding the PSU (which I know is overkill for the system as it stands, but I'd like the option to overclock and add a second high-end card at some point), can 6+2 PCI-e connectors also be used as a 6-pin PCI-e connector if that's what the card requires (i.e. can the additional 2 pins of a 6+2 plug just be left unconnected)?

I like the 4x(6+2pin) PCI-e and 2x(6pin) PCI-e configuration of that PSU, because (if it can be used as I mentioned above) It has me covered for connecting either 2 GFX cards requiring 2x6pin connectors each (total of 4x6pin) or connecting 2 GFX cards each requiring 2x(6+2)pin conectors each (total of 4x 6+2pin)

Anyway. Hopefully someone can clear some of this up and let me know if the build looks to be alright.

Thanks in advance.



More about : building time spec advice appreciated

September 14, 2012 1:52:18 PM

TheBigTroll said:
first of all, what are you going to use this build for? if it is games, get a i5.

this is better
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hpTg

if its also for video, get this
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hpTt

get the motherboard from newegg as there is free ram.


Newegg seems to be an American store and I'm in the UK so the prices are just not comparable at all. For the spec I built, the site I linked is the cheapest when also considering that buying from multiple stores will incur multiple delivery charges, effectively wiping out any potential savings.

Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.

The system will be used for gaming, but I don't see why the i5 is better just because it's where most people feel the dropping off point is between price and performance.

I also chose the EVGA GTX670 FTW because it is rated as being overclockable, uses a 680 board and cooler and will rear-vent the air rather than being a blower-style cooler like the MSI card you linked. At it's cost the EVGA has the highest core and memory clocks out of the box anyway, and seeing as you can't actually guarantee a card will overclock, I thought it was best to get the highest stock performance I could.
Related resources
September 14, 2012 2:00:27 PM

Quote:
Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.


The I5 is "better" because the only real benefit in the I7 is hyperthreading, which no game uses today and will likely not be used in any game for the foreseeable future, and for that you pay a pretty penny that is better used in a gpu or ssd....
September 14, 2012 2:05:08 PM

Most people will suggest the i5 is better for gaming because most games still only use less than 4 cores on a CPU. unless you need the processing power that demanding photo and video editing programs need, the i7 is a bit overkill for just gaming. However, thats not to say i5s can't handle those programs. It all comes down to efficiency.

I guess the general feeling is that you won't see any advantage in processing using an i7 over an i5 in games.

*edit* edtheguy beat me too it!
September 14, 2012 2:07:41 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
Newegg seems to be an American store and I'm in the UK so the prices are just not comparable at all. For the spec I built, the site I linked is the cheapest when also considering that buying from multiple stores will incur multiple delivery charges, effectively wiping out any potential savings.

Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.

The system will be used for gaming, but I don't see why the i5 is better just because it's where most people feel the dropping off point is between price and performance.

I also chose the EVGA GTX670 FTW because it is rated as being overclockable, uses a 680 board and cooler and will rear-vent the air rather than being a blower-style cooler like the MSI card you linked. At it's cost the EVGA has the highest core and memory clocks out of the box anyway, and seeing as you can't actually guarantee a card will overclock, I thought it was best to get the highest stock performance I could.


1: hyper threading actually reduces performance in games so yeah
2:the ftw is probably the worst overclocker out of all non-reference boards. the msi one is the best given you can actually
overvolt

you should state your country

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/hq1I
September 14, 2012 2:11:48 PM

edtheguy said:
Quote:
Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.


The I5 is "better" because the only real benefit in the I7 is hyperthreading, which no game uses today and will likely not be used in any game for the foreseeable future, and for that you pay a pretty penny that is better used in a gpu or ssd....


Granted I can get the i5 for £65 less, but the GPU is the best I can buy for under £400 anyway, and the advantage of spending an additional £80 at minimum is debatable. Fair enough if you say that the i5 is just an i7 without hyperthreading, but that doesn't really make it better as such, it makes it as competent (at the moment at least) but with a feature missing.

With the exception of one of the Zotac cards, the EVGA 670FTW is the highest performing stock 670 there is. At this level of performance you are having to spend vastly more to only see minor improvements. I see a stock 680 will probably only outperform a stock 670 by 10%, but it will cost you nearly £100 more. I'd sooner go down the line of adding another 670 in a year or two's time.

As for SSD's I just don't see the point. The storage amount is so paltry that they're impractical as far as I can see and still at virtually prototype prices.

What about the y question regarding 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors. Can you use them on cards which onlyrequire 6pin PCI-e connectors by leaving the additional 2 pin unconnected?
September 14, 2012 2:14:35 PM

Newegg seems to be an American store and I'm in the UK so the prices are just not comparable at all. For the spec I built, the site I linked is the cheapest when also considering that buying from multiple stores will incur multiple delivery charges, effectively wiping out any potential savings.

Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.

The system will be used for gaming, but I don't see why the i5 is better just because it's where most people feel the dropping off point is between price and performance.

I also chose the EVGA GTX670 FTW because it is rated as being overclockable, uses a 680 board and cooler and will rear-vent the air rather than being a blower-style cooler like the MSI card you linked. At it's cost the EVGA has the highest core and memory clocks out of the box anyway, and seeing as you can't actually guarantee a card will overclock, I thought it was best to get the highest stock performance I could. said:
Newegg seems to be an American store and I'm in the UK so the prices are just not comparable at all. For the spec I built, the site I linked is the cheapest when also considering that buying from multiple stores will incur multiple delivery charges, effectively wiping out any potential savings.

Why is the i5 "better" for gaming? because it's known as a cost-efficient overclocker? The i7 will also overclock easily to 4.0GHz without touching the voltages. Not that I can actually see any necessity to overclock processors that already have so much overhead for even the most demanding games.

The system will be used for gaming, but I don't see why the i5 is better just because it's where most people feel the dropping off point is between price and performance.

I also chose the EVGA GTX670 FTW because it is rated as being overclockable, uses a 680 board and cooler and will rear-vent the air rather than being a blower-style cooler like the MSI card you linked. At it's cost the EVGA has the highest core and memory clocks out of the box anyway, and seeing as you can't actually guarantee a card will overclock, I thought it was best to get the highest stock performance I could.


*in a few minutes i will post a build from UK stores only
*the only difference between an i5 and an i7 is that the i7 has a feature called Hyper threading which "splits" the cores so instead of having 4 Very stong cores you get 8 not so strong cores, this improves performance in HEAVILY threaded apps that take advantage of this function but it reduces your performance in games because they only use 4 cores and since HT is ON your cores will be weaker.

*Do not get an EVGA GTX670 FTW, its hot a bit noisy... the stock clocks don't matter at all because you can easily change them using a tool called "MSI Afterburner" or "MSI Kombustor"

Granted I can get the i5 for £65 less, but the GPU is the best I can buy for under £400 anyway, and the advantage of spending an additional £80 at minimum is debatable. Fair enough if you say that the i5 is just an i7 without hyperthreading, but that doesn't really make it better as such, it makes it as competent (at the moment at least) but with a feature missing.

With the exception of one of the Zotac cards, the EVGA 670FTW is the highest performing stock 670 there is. At this level of performance you are having to spend vastly more to only see minor improvements. I see a stock 680 will probably only outperform a stock 670 by 10%, but it will cost you nearly £100 more. I'd sooner go down the line of adding another 670 in a year or two's time.

As for SSD's I just don't see the point. The storage amount is so paltry that they're impractical as far as I can see and still at virtually prototype prices.

What about the y question regarding 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors. Can you use them on cards which onlyrequire 6pin PCI-e connectors by leaving the additional 2 pin unconnected? said:
Granted I can get the i5 for £65 less, but the GPU is the best I can buy for under £400 anyway, and the advantage of spending an additional £80 at minimum is debatable. Fair enough if you say that the i5 is just an i7 without hyperthreading, but that doesn't really make it better as such, it makes it as competent (at the moment at least) but with a feature missing.

With the exception of one of the Zotac cards, the EVGA 670FTW is the highest performing stock 670 there is. At this level of performance you are having to spend vastly more to only see minor improvements. I see a stock 680 will probably only outperform a stock 670 by 10%, but it will cost you nearly £100 more. I'd sooner go down the line of adding another 670 in a year or two's time.

As for SSD's I just don't see the point. The storage amount is so paltry that they're impractical as far as I can see and still at virtually prototype prices.

What about the y question regarding 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors. Can you use them on cards which onlyrequire 6pin PCI-e connectors by leaving the additional 2 pin unconnected?


*you can get a MUCH better GPU for less like the 7970Ghz edition.

*like i said before, there a WAAAAY better options than the EVGA 670FTW.

*i don't share your opinion about SSDs... they make things boot really fast and they will make your PC fell a LOT snapier

*do not get a 1000w PSU, an 850w PSU is more than enough for overclocking and sling/crossfiring dual GTX670s/7970s


the most important question here is: What's your budget?
September 14, 2012 2:15:39 PM

lol evga. closed coolers are much inferior to the twin frozr 4, not to mention the msi at stock at is faster

as for the i7, hyperthreading wont be used for another 4-5 years and by then, you are looking for a upgrade

as for your 6 pin question, yes you could do that. the extra pins are only grounds
September 14, 2012 2:27:52 PM

TheBigTroll said:

as for the i7, hyperthreading wont be used for another 4-5 years and by then, you are looking for a upgrade


Exactly, HT might be used in a couple of years when next gen consoles arrive and the game ports are more optimized to use multiple cores.... anyways, HT only gives you about a 30% performance gain in heavily threaded apps.
September 14, 2012 2:30:34 PM

TheBigTroll said:
lol evga. closed coolers are much inferior to the twin frozr 4, not to mention the msi at stock at is faster

as for the i7, hyperthreading wont be used for another 4-5 years and by then, you are looking for a upgrade

as for your 6 pin question, yes you could do that. the extra pins are only grounds


If it's the MSI card I'm looking at then it's 1079MHz and 2008MHz on the memory which is slower than the EVGA, but tbh it's splitting hairs over nothing.

I considered the Asus direct CU 2 which has a double fan and decent clock albeit slower than the EVGA, and also the gigabyte windforce 3x with a triple fan setup, but again slower than the EVGA.

Reports from people who owned or tested all of the cards suggested that the EVGA overclocked better and cooled equally well without filling the case with hot air.

But this is pretty insignificant. If I wanted a faster 670 I could buy this

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 670 AMP! NVIDIA Graphics Card - 2GB

which has them all beaten.

September 14, 2012 2:48:09 PM

idroid said:
*in a few minutes i will post a build from UK stores only
*the only difference between an i5 and an i7 is that the i7 has a feature called Hyper threading which "splits" the cores so instead of having 4 Very stong cores you get 8 not so strong cores, this improves performance in HEAVILY threaded apps that take advantage of this function but it reduces your performance in games because they only use 4 cores and since HT is ON your cores will be weaker.

*Do not get an EVGA GTX670 FTW, its hot a bit noisy... the stock clocks don't matter at all because you can easily change them using a tool called "MSI Afterburner" or "MSI Kombustor"



*you can get a MUCH better GPU for less like the 7970Ghz edition.

*like i said before, there a WAAAAY better options than the EVGA 670FTW.

*i don't share your opinion about SSDs... they make things boot really fast and they will make your PC fell a LOT snapier

*do not get a 1000w PSU, an 850w PSU is more than enough for overclocking and sling/crossfiring dual GTX670s/7970s


the most important question here is: What's your budget?


I know about overclocking GPU's I use Rivatuner because It lets me overclock the shader separately. However as I say, seeing as you can't actually guarantee that a card will overclock because some are just better than others, I think it's important to get the highest stock clocks you can. That way you are certain to at least be happy with the stock performance in the event that it won't overclock as you expected.

The 1000w PSU is more an attempt to stop me;

1)Ever having to buy another PCU again except in the event of failure. I intend to use it for any future builds.
2)Ever have to worry about power supply sufficiency in the future if cards start getting ridiculously power hungry again, and in SLi.

I was under the impression that hyperthreading can be turned off on the i7?
September 14, 2012 2:52:19 PM

budget is £1100-£1200 as I thought it was a good price relative to the spec I came up with..

respecing th whole machine is ok, but I chose every single piece of that machine for a very specific reason, and respecing it really just puts me back at square one with too many decision to make again.

September 14, 2012 2:57:48 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
I know about overclocking GPU's I use Rivatuner because It lets me overclock the shader separately. However as I say, seeing as you can't actually guarantee that a card will overclock because some are just better than others, I think it's important to get the highest stock clocks you can. That way you are certain to at least be happy with the stock performance in the event that it won't overclock as you expected.

The 1000w PSU is more an attempt to stop me;

1)Ever having to buy another PCU again except in the event of failure. I intend to use it for any future builds.
2)Ever have to worry about power supply sufficiency in the future if cards start getting ridiculously power hungry again, and in SLi.

I was under the impression that hyperthreading can be turned off on the i7?


*Yes, some cards can't be overclocked but you would have to be EXTREMELY unlucky for that to happen, i bought 4 GTX680s and with the watercooling system i have they're perfectly stable at 1350/7500

*I recommend you the Gigabyte 7970 above the 670 because its faster and its has a LOT of overclocking headroom.

*btw, the stock clocks don't matter at all when overclocking, it all comes down to the quality of the chip and if it was or wasn't made from the center of waffers.... THATS what truly matters.

*Buddy, the TDP of things is getting lower, not higher.... no need for a 1000w PSU unless you do 3 way SLI right now.

*Yes, HT can be turned off but by the time HT is used for games either skymont or skylake will be out!!
September 14, 2012 3:11:35 PM

Here you go buddy:


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£175.27 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£39.59 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£117.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.02 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£56.63 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (£323.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (£323.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.49 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: NZXT HALE82 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£98.68 @ Ebuyer)
Total: £1247.86


a bit over budget for definitely better than your OP
September 15, 2012 7:55:33 AM

idroid said:
Here you go buddy:


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£175.27 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£39.59 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£117.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.02 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£56.63 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (£323.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (£323.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.49 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: NZXT HALE82 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£98.68 @ Ebuyer)
Total: £1247.86


a bit over budget for definitely better than your OP


I dunno.

I still feel that it's skimping on the CPU and that in the end it prioritises things differently. If you leave aside things like the case and motherboard which are similarly priced to what I selected and almost identical in features, and the PSU which I'll consider getting an 850W although I'm not totally convinced that is as future proof as people want to believe and I want it to be (certainly not in an Sli setup) because no-one knows which direction GFX cards are going to go. In a few years time we could see cards with multiple GPU cores popping back up and becoming the norm, and they will be power hungry.

A few years back people would have told you that you'll never need anything better than a Q6600 because games don't use all four cores, or that a 700W PSU was future-proof because nothing at the time needed more power, both of which statements have turned out to be completely untrue.

I think I could use more storage space than 1TB. My old computer had 640Gigs and truth be told I've had to manage that space lately. I could easily have filled 1TB I would say.

Is 8gigs of Ram really enough? is it enough when you combine it with a suggested 670 SLi setup.

On the subject of the 670 SLi setup. It just seems massively overkill. Certainly now. I mean, these cards are still expensive. You are still paying a reasonably high premium on them relative to their performance. You are also boxing yourself in when it comes to upgradability as it means selling off both cards to fund a new single card solution that will probably be inferior, and thats something I can't see myself doing. I'm not saying that my view wouldn't be to go with a sli 670 setup in the long term, but probably when the cards have dropped another £100 and they are more necessary as opposed to now when I don't really think they are. I play on a single screen at 1920x1080. What can a 670 not do that makes 2 really worth having? With an eye to upgradability and an eye for the longer game rather than taking all the performance now, I'm even tempted to just pay the extra £80 and just go with a 680 for the time being; eventually moving to a second when the price is more reasonable.

I also need an optical drive and a soundcard which is another £40.


September 15, 2012 1:54:12 PM

1: games still dont use 4 cores properly
2: hyperthreading gives you nothing in games. it actually decrease performance in some
3:its really hard for me to even fill 200gb
4:8gb of ram is more than enough. web browsing with a ton of tabs will probably only eat 1gb
5:a psu only needs 750w for SLI. cards are getting less power hungry. i can run the i5 3570k and the gtx670 off of a 550w psu no problem.
6:o f course you dont need 2 right now. 1 is already more than enough for 1080p games
7: you dont need a sound card really. if you want one just for kicks, get the asus dx 7.1
September 15, 2012 3:33:03 PM

Op, are you looking for advise or for someone to tell you your parts are uber gaming parts?
seriously, first time I've seen someone say they might be skimping on a CPU by going with an i5k...

If money isn't an issue for you, go right ahead and buy what you want. Most people on here have an idea of what they are talking about.
September 15, 2012 5:24:36 PM

chetorch said:
Op, are you looking for advise or for someone to tell you your parts are uber gaming parts?
seriously, first time I've seen someone say they might be skimping on a CPU by going with an i5k...

If money isn't an issue for you, go right ahead and buy what you want. Most people on here have an idea of what they are talking about.


No.

What I was looking for was someone to check that I hadn't selected incompatible pieces (MB, CPU, RAM) and to give me their opinion on the system.

The problem is that that hasn't really happened. People have generally re-speced the entire thing using completely different parts that (in a lot of cases) are either identical spec-wise or are just personal preference and that's confusing when you're trying to pick out of a sea of near identical components in the first place. In the even that any of the parts they chose were actually superior in terms of spec, it would have been nice to know exactly what it is that I had chosen that was deficient in some way.

The motherboards are all the same in the end. I picked the one with 2 full speed 3.0x16 slots and a spare 2.0x16 (running at 4x) along with the random selection of 2.0x1 and PCI slots which will be perfectly adequate for my cards.

The PSU is my thing. Frankly a decent 850W will cost me £120 from what I can see. I'd just be happier to spend the extra £20 and get the 1kW.

As I say, when you come in with a spec and people completely change every component without any obvious reason (other than it's probably their favourite brand or whatever) it doesn't make things easier.
September 15, 2012 7:08:26 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
I dunno.

I still feel that it's skimping on the CPU and that in the end it prioritises things differently. If you leave aside things like the case and motherboard which are similarly priced to what I selected and almost identical in features, and the PSU which I'll consider getting an 850W although I'm not totally convinced that is as future proof as people want to believe and I want it to be (certainly not in an Sli setup) because no-one knows which direction GFX cards are going to go. In a few years time we could see cards with multiple GPU cores popping back up and becoming the norm, and they will be power hungry.

A few years back people would have told you that you'll never need anything better than a Q6600 because games don't use all four cores, or that a 700W PSU was future-proof because nothing at the time needed more power, both of which statements have turned out to be completely untrue.

I think I could use more storage space than 1TB. My old computer had 640Gigs and truth be told I've had to manage that space lately. I could easily have filled 1TB I would say.

Is 8gigs of Ram really enough? is it enough when you combine it with a suggested 670 SLi setup.

On the subject of the 670 SLi setup. It just seems massively overkill. Certainly now. I mean, these cards are still expensive. You are still paying a reasonably high premium on them relative to their performance. You are also boxing yourself in when it comes to upgradability as it means selling off both cards to fund a new single card solution that will probably be inferior, and thats something I can't see myself doing. I'm not saying that my view wouldn't be to go with a sli 670 setup in the long term, but probably when the cards have dropped another £100 and they are more necessary as opposed to now when I don't really think they are. I play on a single screen at 1920x1080. What can a 670 not do that makes 2 really worth having? With an eye to upgradability and an eye for the longer game rather than taking all the performance now, I'm even tempted to just pay the extra £80 and just go with a 680 for the time being; eventually moving to a second when the price is more reasonable.

I also need an optical drive and a soundcard which is another £40.


Wowowhoa....

*Games DO NOT use 4 cores properly, and the i7 is a Quad core CPU (with HT OFF) and with HT ON is has 8 threads so its like an 8 core CPU and each core has half the strength of a normal core.

*a 750w PSU is more than enough for any dual GPU configuration and GPUs ARE NOT getting more power hungry, they are using less power everyday.

*i strongly doubt that Crossfire/SLI becomes the norm.

*i partially agree with your Q6600 statement but a Core2Quad CPU is NOT a TRUE quad core CPU, a core2quad CPU is really 2 core2duo CPUs in one die and they do not scale very well and i bet EVERYONE said that by the time games fully use quad cores the Core2Quads CPUs will be very outdated and inefficient (true statement)

*8GB of RAM are more than enough for gaming and the amount of GPUs you have don't matter, i have 4 GTX680s and 64GB of RAM and i have NEVER seem my PC use more than 5GB of RAM when gaming @5760x1080 with 3D enabled...the only time i've seen my PC reach a 22GB RAM usage was when i tried to render one of my wife's projects that she did using Solid-works while using AutoCAD, Maya and Folding@home on the background.

*Well, they're not truly overkill if you have a 120Hz monitor, and i've never liked having a single card.... its simply not enough power for me.

*if you're playing @1080p or @2560x1600 then by the time you need to upgrade your GTX670 SLI setup is because GTX8xx cards will be available and skylake will be the new mainstream CPU of Intel....

*Buying a GTX680 is the most stupid thing you can do, clock vs clock the GTX680 offers about 4% more performance than the GTX670, if you want a truly powerful single GPU card get a 7970Ghz edition.

*If you're not going to get a really expensive sound card then do not get it at all, besides... a sound card is not really necessary unless you have a +1500W 7.1 sound system with extremely high quality neodymium magnets and sound pressure capacity beyond 110dBa
September 15, 2012 7:12:35 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
No.

What I was looking for was someone to check that I hadn't selected incompatible pieces (MB, CPU, RAM) and to give me their opinion on the system.

The problem is that that hasn't really happened. People have generally re-speced the entire thing using completely different parts that (in a lot of cases) are either identical spec-wise or are just personal preference and that's confusing when you're trying to pick out of a sea of near identical components in the first place. In the even that any of the parts they chose were actually superior in terms of spec, it would have been nice to know exactly what it is that I had chosen that was deficient in some way.

The motherboards are all the same in the end. I picked the one with 2 full speed 3.0x16 slots and a spare 2.0x16 (running at 4x) along with the random selection of 2.0x1 and PCI slots which will be perfectly adequate for my cards.

The PSU is my thing. Frankly a decent 850W will cost me £120 from what I can see. I'd just be happier to spend the extra £20 and get the 1kW.

As I say, when you come in with a spec and people completely change every component without any obvious reason (other than it's probably their favourite brand or whatever) it doesn't make things easier.


Do you want a true opinion about your original build? it sucks, you did a very poor job picking those parts, specially if you're gonna use it for gaming, that GPU you originally picked CAN NOT be overclocked at all because the temps will reach dangerous levels and for its price a 7970GHz edition is better.

The heatskin is not very good.

There are better options than that case

Silverstone makes mid-high quality PSUs.
September 15, 2012 7:17:19 PM

If you, OP, think you know better than us, why are you asking for help? Just stick with your build if you think it is so great.
September 15, 2012 8:39:25 PM

idroid said:
Do you want a true opinion about your original build? it sucks, you did a very poor job picking those parts, specially if you're gonna use it for gaming, that GPU you originally picked CAN NOT be overclocked at all because the temps will reach dangerous levels and for its price a 7970GHz edition is better.

The heatskin is not very good.

There are better options than that case

Silverstone makes mid-high quality PSUs.


Regarding the GPU I actually read this thread below from people who have owned and tested the various prospective GTX670's and the concensus was that the EVGA card was the best option, both for overclocking and when looking at cooling in a dual card setup.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/354974-15-asus-dire...

Now I actually have no vested interest in which card is better, but I can only go on what people say, and a thread from people who have tested the various cards seemed a fair source of information. Are you saying that everything they have said is wrong?

What's wrong with the case? Once again I actually don't care which case I get, but the fan layout that antec comes fitted with seemed better than anything else I've seen. I'll admit that it was initially chosen because it was one of the only cases that would fit the PSU I had chosen at the time, but this is no longer an issue.

What's wrong with the heatsink?

You see the problem for me is that nobody agrees on anything. One group of people will tell you component X is brilliant, and then another group will tell you it's rubbish and that you need something else. This repeats over and over and one can only conclude that in actual fact the difference between a lot of these things is minimal at most, and more to do with personal preference over actual performance.

Generally though I still don't see what's so wrong with the pieces I picked. Regardless of whether you think I needan i7, or need a 1kW PSU or need 16Gb RAM. What's actually so wrong with all of it, and what's wrong with the Motherboard?. Price per feature/slot it was the best one I could see. All the motherboards in that price range and pretty much the same. Why is mine so inferior?

I want a dedicated soundcard because it has an amp dedicated to driving headphones and can deal with headphones that have a relatively high impedance. We're talking about £30 here on a £1200 spend though. It's hardly going to break the bank either way.

September 15, 2012 8:43:41 PM

The DC2 OCs higher and so does the MSI Twin Frozr. The cost isn't too much bigger, so why not get it?
September 15, 2012 9:15:10 PM

Does the Asus card really clock higher? If you are talking about the standard model and not the TOP version then you need to get a 10% overclock just to draw level with the EVGA card, and seeing as asus are selling the TOP version which is obviously just the top bin chips overcloked to +50Mhz on the EVGA, it's hard to imagine that you'll get the asus standard version any further than the stock EVGA. If you could then the TOP model would be redundant.

All the talk about cooling on these cards though in relation to overclocking. How many times have you actually overclocked a card and actually found you were limited by the core getting too hot and having to scale it back for safety, rather than it actually being the chip being unable to clock higher at the stock voltage etc?

I have never seen a card that was thermally limited. Every card I've tried just fails point black to clock past a certain point and this is well before they are getting anywhere near the danger limit thermally.
September 15, 2012 9:24:30 PM

But of course if those actually were better, I would get them. Within a limit the price isn't the issue, its whether things are actually better or whether people just prefer them...
September 15, 2012 9:51:46 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
Does the Asus card really clock higher? If you are talking about the standard model and not the TOP version then you need to get a 10% overclock just to draw level with the EVGA card, and seeing as asus are selling the TOP version which is obviously just the top bin chips overcloked to +50Mhz on the EVGA, it's hard to imagine that you'll get the asus standard version any further than the stock EVGA. If you could then the TOP model would be redundant.

All the talk about cooling on these cards though in relation to overclocking. How many times have you actually overclocked a card and actually found you were limited by the core getting too hot and having to scale it back for safety, rather than it actually being the chip being unable to clock higher at the stock voltage etc?

I have never seen a card that was thermally limited. Every card I've tried just fails point black to clock past a certain point and this is well before they are getting anywhere near the danger limit thermally.

They are better. Just because it has a higher stock clock doesn't make it better.
September 15, 2012 11:33:39 PM

TheDoctor46 said:
But of course if those actually were better, I would get them. Within a limit the price isn't the issue, its whether things are actually better or whether people just prefer them...


Either EVGA has some extreme quality chips or i got really lucky because all of my 4 gtx 680s are clocked at 1350/7500 and they're stable at 1400/7800 (watercooled ofcs) but i just the point of OCing them beyond their stock clocks.... that's why i keep them @1000/6000

you could buy the EVGA GTX670 and get this cooler http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/cooling/vga/375/accelero-twin...
September 15, 2012 11:44:12 PM

the problem with the asus card was that they had a bios problem in their original batch of cards causing them to crash and RSOD. i always recommended the msi twin frozr 4 given it can actually overvolt which no other 670 can achieve

evga has the majority of the chips that nvidia give out. thats how they can get some really good chips (especially the 680s)
September 16, 2012 9:56:28 AM
September 16, 2012 12:02:26 PM

1: for the motherboard, id just get the pro version given its not too much more
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z77-v-pro-intel-z...(vga)-displayport-dvi-i-hdmi-atx
2: get a SSD like the samsung 830 128gb
3;get this psu instead
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...
4: get this hard drive instead. greens are rather slow. but ok for storage
http://www.cclonline.com/product/72741/ST1000DM003/Hard...
5;ok on the case but i usually suggest the antec 1100 given its a newer and better internal design
6: there is no point of a dg sound card. get something like the dx and then you will hear a good difference
7: nh-d14 is the heatsink of choice
http://www.ebuyer.com/195165-noctua-nh-d14-dual-radiato...

September 16, 2012 1:12:24 PM

I'm really at the absolute limit of my budget, and i've got to stop somewhere because you can just keep adding things indefinitely.

What does that PRO motherboard have that the other model doesn't that warrants the price?

I'd get the asus dx soundcard but I can't confirm that it's got the dedicated headphone amp (which is the primary reason for getting the card in the first place) If it's got the amp I'll get it.

I'll have a look at that baracuda HDD, but as for the SSD I'm just not interested. They're stupidly expensive and the storage is laughable. If You can't use a SSD for the entirety of your storage then I see absolutely no point whatsoever.

Whilst saving another £20 on the PSU is attractive I'm not convinced about the power requirements of an overclocked i5 and two overcloked 670's running on a 750W, and also the potential for future upgrades and rebuilds to be covered by 750W. For as long as I've had PC's the single thing that has stopped me from being able to upgrade is having a shitty PSU and I don't want to be in that situation again.

£55 for a heatsink seems excessive. £30 is the limit on the current build as I can't see that they are much different in the £20-£60 bracket. Chances are that I won't even fiddle with the voltage on the CPU. I'll just clock it to 3.9-4.0GHz and leave it there.
September 16, 2012 1:24:15 PM

Do I need any cables or anything else for the SLi setup that isn't included with the cards themselves?
September 16, 2012 1:50:41 PM

1: the pro has a few more power phases, a slightly wider range of software, and the fact that its 4 dollars more makes it worth getting
2:the dx has a amp but what headphones are you using?
3: SSD is laughable? lol hard drive boots in 1min-3 depending how clogged windows is. SSD 8-12sec tops. everything loads faster (everything) and yeah. stupid why you would spend 1200 pounds on a rig and not have one
4: well because ocz (or so i think you had one) is crap. a 670 tops would use 170wx2 would mean 340w. add another 100w and you have the overall tdp of your system. 750w would be more than enough to handle that.
5: the cooler is what is important. you could get a hyper 212 evo and call it a day but on this level, id really consider the d14

id rather get a ssd, better motherboard, and cooler rather than a sound card. onboard stuff on asus boards (which themselves make sound cards) is usually better than other manufacturers even though they use the same chipset. really, i dont see a point of sound card unless you have something thats over 150ohms
September 16, 2012 6:08:46 PM

I don't have an issue with how quickly the system boots. If it takes 1 minute it's no big problem. It's certainly not such a problem that I'd spent £80 to get 128GB of storage on a SSD which I would use up in a day.... 128Gigs is just nothing in terms of space.

So what do you do? install the OS on the SSD. The bulk of your content will be on a standard HDD and that's not going to be any quicker. Not that it's slow anyway.
September 16, 2012 6:13:25 PM

you install the os, all the apps, games worth installing on a SSD (no cs), and that should be about it.

i have trouble filling 80gb on my ssd. so how do you fill it up so fast? if its movies, just throw them on the hard drive and it should be fine.

September 17, 2012 9:46:41 AM

Would a heatsink like this not suffice?

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cooler-master-hyper-612s...

Either way, regardless of which cooler you buy, how do you know that it will actually fit in your case, and how many RAM slots it will obscure?

Do these completely block the RAM slots from the level of the board upwards, or do they sit over the top of the slots meaning that if you have low profile RAM you might still be able to use the slots?
September 17, 2012 10:52:34 AM

i trust coolermaster over gelid.

you know if it fits in your case when you compare the size of the cooler and the max specs for a heatsink of the case. they will cover ram slots so you get lower profile sticks like most ram
September 18, 2012 8:30:21 AM

What are your thoughts on these three MoBo's. Baring in mind the top two feature 3 x 3.0PCI-e slots so I could add a third GTX670 at a later date (assuming of course that you could physically fit 3 dual-slot cards)?


MSI Z77A-GD65 Intel Z77 Socket 1155 Ivybridge Ready Motherboard

MSI Z77 MPower, OC Certified Motherboard

Asus P8Z77-V Intel Z77 Socket 1155 Ivybridge Ready Motherboard

Is there anything that particularly makes any of them superior to one another?
September 18, 2012 10:49:55 AM

either way you cant. normal z77 boards can only support 2 way sli. none of which you listed will do 3 way. you will need x79 or a z77 board with a plx chip
September 18, 2012 10:56:10 AM

I see, that makes it a it easier to decide then.

What's the advantage of having 3.0x16 speed slots that support the full 16X date rate rather than say a 3.0x16 slot running at 8x?

Is it going to make any difference to GFX card performance?
September 18, 2012 12:51:01 PM

urgh, I dunno.

Is there any preference between those boards or are they all really the same at the end of the day?

I want to get this ordered and this is about the last piece that I'm unsure about.
September 18, 2012 4:48:59 PM

theres no difference. just buy a board like the v- pro and the build i suggested
September 18, 2012 6:03:40 PM

This case below was suggested earlier in this thread, and I've since found out that the antec 900 series has to pass the cable for the front USB to connect to one of the USB ports on the rear of the MoBo, and I think that's ridiculous design.

Phantom 410 Black 2x120mm and 1x140mm usb 3.0 Mid tower chassis

Will the airflow be adequate for two GTX670's with the three fans it comes with?
How's the cable management?

Anything else I should know about it before I commit?
September 18, 2012 6:49:59 PM

the phantom 410 is pretty good. if you like it, go ahead. the fans are good enough
!