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Building my first system, would like advice

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September 19, 2012 3:46:28 PM

Hey guys, I'm new here. I'm planning on building my own system in a couple months, taking as much advantage as possible of the Black November sale that Newegg puts on. This is my FIRST system, but I'll have a good friend who's done it before to help me through it (plus the internet seems to have several guides available).

$1,500 is the rough cap (I can go a liiiiiitle over it, but not much). This will be my working AND gaming computer, but since my work is just typing, the gaming is my primary concern. I want as much Gaming capability and longevity as possible: I want something that will remain capable and competitive for more than a year or two.

I'm using this website as a rough start: http://www.gamingpcbuilds.com/best-gaming-pc-build-unde...

I'm going with the Intel PC build, as opposed to AMD. NOTE: Editing as a result of feedback. Keep it coming!

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Either an EVGA 670 or an MSI 670, both 2gig
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130787
vs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127685

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-128-...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blu-ray/CD/DVD: Asus Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray Drive
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer USB 3.0 Mid Tower ATX Case:
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Big Question: If I upgrade my GPU to something like a 670, will there be a bottleneck somewhere else? I don't want to get a nice GPU and not be able to use it because I cheaped out somewhere else...

As I said before, this is my first computer I will be building. I have a few questions that I would love some help with:

1. Will an i7 be noticeably better for gaming than a cheaper i5?

2. Are any of these choices so mindbogglingly stupid that you want to hit me in the face? Which ones?

3. Are any of these choices notably OVER-powered or UNDER-powered for my needs?

4. Will this build actually work? Are there any alternatives to certain parts that jump out at you as you read this?

More about : building system advice

a b B Homebuilt system
September 19, 2012 4:19:44 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Those are worth a look at when choosing a gaming cpu and gpu. Gaming wise an i5 is more then sufficient and an i5 2500 will serve you well. If you plan to over clock getting an i5 2500k will be a gaming beast. For gaming 8 gigs of ram is ok not many if any at all games require more then 4 gigs but 8 would safe guard you for that a while.

Most games depend heavily on your gpu. So the better the gpu you can afford and use the more you can push the graphics. Cpu's do play a part in it but none so much as the gpu. you will see some gains with an i7 but nothing i would call ground breaking. And to me personally i would not justify those gains with the cost differences of an i5 and an i7 (from what i understand the gains are not a huge amount in fps).

But that is my suggestion in that you read up on those 2 links check out each cpu and gpu and find the sweet spot that works for you in terms of performance costs and what can fit your budget.
September 19, 2012 4:22:43 PM

To answer some of your questions:

1. As long as you don't go to the bottom of the barrel in i5s you will not notice a large difference in gaming between the i5 and the i7. (Look at the top of the chart)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

2.Most of the choices look good. My only advice would be not to be locked into the exact product just because one website says its the best build.
Case in point the GPU: First search around and see if you can find a 570 for cheaper, second since it looks like you are going to save in a couple areas I would recommend looking at the newer version the 670. (The 570 will not stay current for another 2 yrs)

3. The PSU is over-powered. I would look for a 500w PSU unless you are going to:
a. Start overclocking heavily
b. Add a second GPU sometime soon.
c. Looking to water cool sometime soon.

4. Like I said before I would not lock yourself into the parts chosen. If there is another 16gb of ram that is cheaper (they go on sale all the time) get it. Same thing with SSDs, they go on sale a lot too.
Related resources
September 19, 2012 4:32:15 PM

zolton33 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Those are worth a look at when choosing a gaming cpu and gpu. Gaming wise an i5 is more then sufficient and an i5 2500 will serve you well. If you plan to over clock getting an i5 2500k will be a gaming beast. For gaming 8 gigs of ram is ok not many if any at all games require more then 4 gigs but 8 would safe guard you for that a while.

Most games depend heavily on your gpu. So the better the gpu you can afford and use the more you can push the graphics. Cpu's do play a part in it but none so much as the gpu. you will see some gains with an i7 but nothing i would call ground breaking. And to me personally i would not justify those gains with the cost differences of an i5 and an i7 (from what i understand the gains are not a huge amount in fps).

But that is my suggestion in that you read up on those 2 links check out each cpu and gpu and find the sweet spot that works for you in terms of performance costs and what can fit your budget.


Thank you so much for your answer! I checked out those links, and it looks like my video card is towards the top of that list (although the list is about a year and a half old). So, in terms of PCU, you would recommend something like this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)? But is there a notable difference between an i5-2500k and an i5-3570k? the 3570 is only $10 more, and that's a lot more k's (I really don't know what the functional difference is).
September 19, 2012 4:39:55 PM

j2j663 said:
To answer some of your questions:

1. As long as you don't go to the bottom of the barrel in i5s you will not notice a large difference in gaming between the i5 and the i7. (Look at the top of the chart)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

2.Most of the choices look good. My only advice would be not to be locked into the exact product just because one website says its the best build.
Case in point the GPU: First search around and see if you can find a 570 for cheaper, second since it looks like you are going to save in a couple areas I would recommend looking at the newer version the 670. (The 570 will not stay current for another 2 yrs)

3. The PSU is over-powered. I would look for a 500w PSU unless you are going to:
a. Start overclocking heavily
b. Add a second GPU sometime soon.
c. Looking to water cool sometime soon.

4. Like I said before I would not lock yourself into the parts chosen. If there is another 16gb of ram that is cheaper (they go on sale all the time) get it. Same thing with SSDs, they go on sale a lot too.


Awesome! Thanks!

1. So would you recommend an i5-3570k over a 2500k? It's only $10 more expensive on Newegg, and still $70 cheaper than the i7.

2. Thanks, I'll definitely look into that, but it looks like the 670 cards are going for about $150 more than the 570... if there's a sale on them, I'll definitely try to pick one up.

3. I'll remember that, but I was thinking that with this power supply, if I'm unable to upgrade to a 670 card right now, I could always add another 570 later on down the road, right? Or is that totally not a good reason?

4. I definitely hear you on not locking myself into them too specifically: I just subscribed to the Newegg newsletter, and on the very first sale I saw there was RAM that I could save $15 on. My main concern is seeing something that LOOKS like an easy substitution, only to find out that in fact it won't work at all.

Again, thanks so much for your help! What would you say are the MOST important things to consider when I see a potential alternative part on sale?
September 19, 2012 5:37:19 PM

zolton33 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Sorry a more recent cpu chart lol

And a more recent gpu

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Unless you plan to overclock i'd steer clear of the k series cpu's as they are mainly oc cpu's. If not over clocking this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... A regular 2500 i5 would work well.


Thanks again!

Alright, so it still looks like both are fairly high on the charts. If you don't mind, could you elaborate on the differences between a 2500 and a 2500k? I understand that the 2500k allows for easier overclocking: is there any reason I would NOT want to overclock? Does it significantly decrease lifespan/void the warranty? Does it significantly improve performance?

I guess the question is, to overclock or not to overclock?
September 19, 2012 5:54:06 PM

zolton33 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Sorry a more recent cpu chart lol

And a more recent gpu

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Unless you plan to overclock i'd steer clear of the k series cpu's as they are mainly oc cpu's. If not over clocking this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... A regular 2500 i5 would work well.


One more thing: You linked me to the Sandy Bridge model, but it appears as though the Ivy Bridge 3550 is the same price (???). Is there any reason to go with Sandy Bridge over Ivy Bridge? Since Ivy Bridge is newer, should I go with that?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b B Homebuilt system
September 19, 2012 6:43:59 PM

Over clocking basically sends more power to the cpu allowing for faster clock speeds. It can cause the cpu to heat up from all that extra power it is drawing. So yeah it can shorten the life span of a cpu in some cases. intel does offer an insurance type plan for over clockers so that if the cpu does burn up you can get it replaced. But before hopping into over clocking i would do a lot of research into it as i would not recommend it for beginners as far to many variables come into play.

To be honest i do not have a lot of info on the ivy bridge cpu's seeing how they are just a few months old. They are about 10% more powerful then the sandy bridge from what i understand. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405317,00.asp That is a good read for ivy and sandy bridge comparisons.

But from the specs they look almost identical. Except the ivy has less power consumption and a newer Integrated Graphics. Between the 2 on specs alone the ivy bridge seems to be the best choice between the 2. But there are several i5's of both the ivy and sandy bridge. And sadly since no real competition from amd any more they are charging the same price for cpu's over a year old as they are for the ones just a few months old. And its one of the reasons that although intel makes good cpu's i do hate their business practices.
September 19, 2012 7:15:08 PM

zolton33 said:
Over clocking basically sends more power to the cpu allowing for faster clock speeds. It can cause the cpu to heat up from all that extra power it is drawing. So yeah it can shorten the life span of a cpu in some cases. intel does offer an insurance type plan for over clockers so that if the cpu does burn up you can get it replaced. But before hopping into over clocking i would do a lot of research into it as i would not recommend it for beginners as far to many variables come into play.

To be honest i do not have a lot of info on the ivy bridge cpu's seeing how they are just a few months old. They are about 10% more powerful then the sandy bridge from what i understand. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405317,00.asp That is a good read for ivy and sandy bridge comparisons.

But from the specs they look almost identical. Except the ivy has less power consumption and a newer Integrated Graphics. Between the 2 on specs alone the ivy bridge seems to be the best choice between the 2. But there are several i5's of both the ivy and sandy bridge. And sadly since no real competition from amd any more they are charging the same price for cpu's over a year old as they are for the ones just a few months old. And its one of the reasons that although intel makes good cpu's i do hate their business practices.


Dude, you are the BEST. I do have one more question: is it a general rule that the higher the number (3550 vs. 2500), the higher the performance? Or does that mean something else? Are you basically saying, "Go for the Ivy Bridge, since it's newer and the same price?"

Seriously, though, you have been a huuuge help. Thank you so much.
September 19, 2012 7:54:16 PM

I'd still stick to the 3570k, its only around $30 more expensive... And it gives you the option of OCing or not. 3550 is ivy and 2500 is sandy. If you're buying a computer from scratch, then go with the ivy. If you already have a 2500, then just stick with it for now.
September 19, 2012 8:09:42 PM

10pies said:
I'd still stick to the 3570k, its only around $30 more expensive... And it gives you the option of OCing or not. 3550 is ivy and 2500 is sandy. If you're buying a computer from scratch, then go with the ivy. If you already have a 2500, then just stick with it for now.


I am building it from scratch, so right now i'm leaning towards the 3550 (don't plan on overclocking it). But I do have a question: What MOTHERBOARD would be best with this setup? I've been looking at the reviews for the Gigabyte one, and even though it's averaging 4 eggs on Newegg, there are a lot of unsatisifed customers... can anyone suggest a better motherboard that's compatible with the processor?
September 19, 2012 8:42:42 PM

About the SSD; I understand your concern over picking up just any SSD and to a certain extent it is true that there are differences between SSD models. However, unless you really go with a bottom of the barrel, never heard of them before company any SSD is going to be a very noticeable performance increase over an HDD.

If I had to recommend one right now I would recommend OCZs Agility 4 series. No they aren't the top of the line fastest but they offer an incredible bang for your buck.

Try out this article on the best SSDs and see if you can find anything that you like.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-...


About the mobo and processor:

A 'k-series' processor is one that is unlocked for overclocking, that is the multipliers that set the speeds of different functions of the chip are unlocked for easy tweaking. To understand any deeper than that you will need to start reading up on OCing (once you start its hard to stop).

I have used quite a few Gigabyte motherboards and have never been disappointed by them. Plus they have an interesting take on UEFI bios, some like it some don't.
September 19, 2012 8:58:31 PM

j2j663 said:
About the SSD; I understand your concern over picking up just any SSD and to a certain extent it is true that there are differences between SSD models. However, unless you really go with a bottom of the barrel, never heard of them before company any SSD is going to be a very noticeable performance increase over an HDD.

If I had to recommend one right now I would recommend OCZs Agility 4 series. No they aren't the top of the line fastest but they offer an incredible bang for your buck.

Try out this article on the best SSDs and see if you can find anything that you like.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-...


About the mobo and processor:

A 'k-series' processor is one that is unlocked for overclocking, that is the multipliers that set the speeds of different functions of the chip are unlocked for easy tweaking. To understand any deeper than that you will need to start reading up on OCing (once you start its hard to stop).

I have used quite a few Gigabyte motherboards and have never been disappointed by them. Plus they have an interesting take on UEFI bios, some like it some don't.


Read the article: Thanks! The HyperX one is already a few bucks cheaper, so I'll have to keep an eye on these in case any of them go on sale.

Glad to hear that about the Gigabyte motherboards: Do you anticipate any compatibility problems? How do I check that? Thanks so much for the help: I appreciate it.
September 19, 2012 11:59:42 PM

If you purhcase a motherboard with the correct socket for your processor there should be no compatibility issues.

In case you are worried a good thing to do would be when you mobo arrives make sure you know what BIOS version it is running. It will usually say either on the board or in the manual. After you know that you can see if you have the newest BIOS for your mobo or not.

The general rule of thumb (especially if you haven't done it before) is, regardless of the BIOS version, try out the board with the processor and do not update the BIOS unless something goes wrong. Basically, if it isn't broke don't fix it.

FYI, while you are checking out the mobo site you should download the rest of the updates for your mobo.

Last thing, I know you haven't bought a mobo yet but these instructions are generic to almost all mobos.
September 19, 2012 11:59:52 PM

If you purhcase a motherboard with the correct socket for your processor there should be no compatibility issues.

In case you are worried a good thing to do would be when you mobo arrives make sure you know what BIOS version it is running. It will usually say either on the board or in the manual. After you know that you can see if you have the newest BIOS for your mobo or not.

The general rule of thumb (especially if you haven't done it before) is, regardless of the BIOS version, try out the board with the processor and do not update the BIOS unless something goes wrong. Basically, if it isn't broke don't fix it.

FYI, while you are checking out the mobo site you should download the rest of the updates for your mobo.

Last thing, I know you haven't bought a mobo yet but these instructions are generic to almost all mobos.
September 20, 2012 12:01:52 AM

Sorry TH went unavailable for a bit and it looks like it double posted for me!
September 20, 2012 6:50:25 PM

j2j663 said:
If you purhcase a motherboard with the correct socket for your processor there should be no compatibility issues.

In case you are worried a good thing to do would be when you mobo arrives make sure you know what BIOS version it is running. It will usually say either on the board or in the manual. After you know that you can see if you have the newest BIOS for your mobo or not.

The general rule of thumb (especially if you haven't done it before) is, regardless of the BIOS version, try out the board with the processor and do not update the BIOS unless something goes wrong. Basically, if it isn't broke don't fix it.

FYI, while you are checking out the mobo site you should download the rest of the updates for your mobo.

Last thing, I know you haven't bought a mobo yet but these instructions are generic to almost all mobos.


Thanks so much for helping out a total noob. How do you tell if it has the correct socket? I mean, there's so many numbers and letters in the names of motherboards and processors that it's hard to tell what is meant to match up with what...
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 6:59:33 PM

If your cpu says that it is 1155 (most if not all sandy and ivy bridge are socket 1155) then you need a 1155 board. That is one of the best examples i could think of. And i would not worry alot about reviews on sites where you order. The old saying you can not please every one all of the time is something to consider unless you see almost all bad reviews with most of them being doa (or dead on arrival) Some give a bad review if they do not like the placement of parts or if they did not get their rebate. So while you can use it to gauge the quality of a board its not the end all beat all answer of if it is a good product or not.
September 20, 2012 7:11:48 PM

zolton33 said:
If your cpu says that it is 1155 (most if not all sandy and ivy bridge are socket 1155) then you need a 1155 board. That is one of the best examples i could think of. And i would not worry alot about reviews on sites where you order. The old saying you can not please every one all of the time is something to consider unless you see almost all bad reviews with most of them being doa (or dead on arrival) Some give a bad review if they do not like the placement of parts or if they did not get their rebate. So while you can use it to gauge the quality of a board its not the end all beat all answer of if it is a good product or not.


Hang on... so this board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) won't work with this processor (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)?

Do you have any recommendations for a board that will both fit and perform well?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 7:13:32 PM

Nope it be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 7:17:09 PM

But you notice where it said lga 2011 for the board and lga 1155 for the cpu? That is the chip set so as long as the chip set on the cpu and on the motherboard match you should be good to go.
September 20, 2012 7:17:20 PM

zolton33 said:
Nope it be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.


Well, with a bit of shoving...

Alright, then, how about this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one seems good... USB 3.0, supports a ton of RAM... looks like it's somehow optimized for a Sandy Bridge processor, but I read somewhere that if it works for Sandy Bridge, it'll work for Ivy Bridge as well.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 7:37:14 PM

I'm no expert on ivy bridge to be honest. But it should work you may have to update your bios for it to support an ivy bridge cpu though and its some thing to keep in mind when putting it together. And i am sure there are some 1155 that only support sandy bridge. i'd check the motherboard website as they should have it listed as well as the bios update if it requires one to support ivy bridge cpu's. Its always safer to trust but verify things you know what i mean?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 7:40:26 PM

On aside note you should update your first post to reflect the changes in components you have made. To be honest i did not notice that you had decided on the ivy bridge i5 and it was a 1155 and that you were still planning on getting a 2011 mobo that been a very bad idea as you would have a set up you could not use so glad we caught it before you ordered it :p 
September 20, 2012 7:43:23 PM

zolton33 said:
On aside note you should update your first post to reflect the changes in components you have made. To be honest i did not notice that you had decided on the ivy bridge i5 and it was a 1155 and that you were still planning on getting a 2011 mobo that been a very bad idea as you would have a set up you could not use so glad we caught it before you ordered it :p 


I'm glad too! That's a good point: I'll edit appropriately so anyone else who wants to help doesn't have to sift through the entire thread. Now I'm looking at this mobo from Asus:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-...

It has a few complaints of DOA's, but the vast majority of people using it seem to be happy with it. I know Asus has a good reputation, which makes me feel better about it.

(You guys are incredibly friendly here, btw: Didn't anticipate this level of help).
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2012 8:01:45 PM

Many here in this place love a challenge and love to build pc's so it shows through lol And that seems ok and you should always go with companies you trust and are familiar with. If it suits your needs (costs and performance wise) then that is the one you want. Although some one here may be able to suggest another one. But if they don't i would take it to mean your choice is spot on.
September 20, 2012 11:23:53 PM

I am glad that you got that socket issue figured out.

You have been picking out some good mobos and I would guess that you have a decent feel for newegg's site now.

Just a word of advice, you have said that you may not be overclocking your processor. In light of that I would suggest that you actually take a step down in the mobos you are looking at. IMHO I would say that at about $170 mobos start adding features and functionality that is designed for overclockers and enthusiasts. Things like a BIOS switch, clear CMOS button and voltage measurement points are only valuable if you overclock. On top of that things like extra PCIe slots are nice, but think about if you will really use them. Same with things like an mSATA slot.

Take a look at this mobo, it is basically the little brother of the mobo you picked out but still very capable and solid.

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

And in case you were wondering:

Extra PCIe slots would be used for extra graphics cards or something that has a similar need for lots of bandwidth.

An mSATA slot would be used for a mini, internal SSD.
September 21, 2012 12:36:45 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($93.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($128.34 @ B&H)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1251.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-20 20:33 EDT-0400)

Newegg reviews generally aren't very accurate since most of the reviewers complaining don't know much about what they're talking about. I'm still not sure if you are planning/know how to overclock so if you are not, you can drop to a 3550 i5 cpu and take out the CPU cooler since those will not be necessary. The Sabertooth motherboard you had listed is a little overpriced with features you probably won't be using so I changed that. I really don't know much about Blue Ray drives so it may be beneficial to adjust that aspect of the build. The Samsung 830 is one of the fastest SSDs out now. GTX 670 will also be a step above your 570.
September 21, 2012 12:39:12 AM

j2j663 said:
I am glad that you got that socket issue figured out.

You have been picking out some good mobos and I would guess that you have a decent feel for newegg's site now.

Just a word of advice, you have said that you may not be overclocking your processor. In light of that I would suggest that you actually take a step down in the mobos you are looking at. IMHO I would say that at about $170 mobos start adding features and functionality that is designed for overclockers and enthusiasts. Things like a BIOS switch, clear CMOS button and voltage measurement points are only valuable if you overclock. On top of that things like extra PCIe slots are nice, but think about if you will really use them. Same with things like an mSATA slot.

Take a look at this mobo, it is basically the little brother of the mobo you picked out but still very capable and solid.

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

And in case you were wondering:

Extra PCIe slots would be used for extra graphics cards or something that has a similar need for lots of bandwidth.

An mSATA slot would be used for a mini, internal SSD.


Dude, you are PHENOMENAL. Thanks so much for the advice: You have an excellent point that I probably won't use all the fancy features I'm paying for with the more expensive mobo's. I'll definitely update my original post with the mobo you recommended.

Will my current build still be fairly powerful in terms of gaming? I don't want to sacrifice too much capability...
a b B Homebuilt system
September 21, 2012 12:52:25 AM

Your cpu plays a part in your gaming performance but none so much as your gpu. Most games primarily use your gpu to render every thing. So as an example if you were on a tight budget buying a cheap cpu and a better gpu would give you better performance then a cheap gpu and an expensive cpu. So getting the best gpu you can get will give you over all more better gaming performance. Just some thing to keep in mind.
September 21, 2012 1:10:55 AM

zolton33 said:
Your cpu plays a part in your gaming performance but none so much as your gpu. Most games primarily use your gpu to render every thing. So as an example if you were on a tight budget buying a cheap cpu and a better gpu would give you better performance then a cheap gpu and an expensive cpu. So getting the best gpu you can get will give you over all more better gaming performance. Just some thing to keep in mind.


You posted this AS I WAS LOOKING AT MORE POWERFUL GPU'S! Are you a witch?

But yeah, I'm definitely considering the EVGA 670, as it seems that will improve the longevity of my system more than the 570. Is that a good call, do you think? Will some of that go to waste because of a bottleneck somewhere else?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
September 21, 2012 1:31:12 AM

To be honest most new gpu's would have a hard time getting bottle necked by an i5 cpu be it sandy bridge or ivy bridge to be honest lol. And i kinda figured you were trying to maximize your performance. I'm kind of curious though as to why you have not considered a 7970 or a 6990? Or is it that you just prefer nvidia? But yeah either choice should be fine. If you try to stay up on best possible performance i would believe you are meant to upgrade your gpu every two years but personally i never tried to buy into that.
September 21, 2012 4:21:47 AM

I would second the choice for a 670 or something similar. The newer generations of GPUs were a pretty significant step up in performance (as they should be) but the real shocker of the newer generations was the fact that they are more powerful while using significantly less energy.

Use the graphics chart that was linked to in the beginning to take a look at where everything falls performance wise.

Personally if you are looking for a graphics card that is still going to pack some punch in a year I wouldn't consider anything less than a 670 on the Nvidia side or anything less than a 7950 on the AMD side.

If you are looking at 670s here is a pretty good one from MSI

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

Also, unless you plan on gaming on 2 or more monitors you don't need the 4GB version of that EVGA card the 2GB version will do just the same and cost you less.

Just a quick thing about price/performance. The 7970 and the 680 will command price premiums because they are the flagship single GPU boards. Therefore the 7950 and the 670 are the better deals usually. Out of those 2 the 670 wins the battle for pure power but the 7950 usually comes in about $50 less than the 670. Thats about %15 price difference and the benchmarks for performance are usually closer than that. So ultimately its hard to recommend one over the other.
September 21, 2012 2:59:10 PM

@zolton33: Yeah, I just prefer nVidia. Thanks a TON for the info. That's good to know.

@j2j663: Alright, I'll definitely have the 670 card at the top of my list come sale time. Any reason why you linked an MSI card in particular? Does MSI have a better reputation than some of the other brands? Thanks a lot for the advice!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 21, 2012 3:03:19 PM

MSi is pretty good on most of their items. The hd 6450 i am running in my pc right now is msi. They are all built about the same but some offer them cheaper then others while some others put them together a bit different and some come without fans for extra cooling plus then there is the gpu size (1 gig 2 gig as just one example). And some are a bit more power hungry then others. So a lot of variables to consider. And many suggest known manufacturers that they themselves have used and trust.
September 21, 2012 3:10:24 PM

zolton33 said:
MSi is pretty good on most of their items. The hd 6450 i am running in my pc right now is msi. They are all built about the same but some offer them cheaper then others while some others put them together a bit different and some come without fans for extra cooling plus then there is the gpu size (1 gig 2 gig as just one example). And some are a bit more power hungry then others. So a lot of variables to consider. And many suggest known manufacturers that they themselves have used and trust.


Yeah, that makes sense. Alright...

Right now I'm looking at
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
vs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I guess I'm just a bit more confident in the EVGA card because it maintains 4 eggs with over 300 reviews, while the MSI has less then 50. That said, if one of them goes on sale and the other doesn't, I'd probably go with the one on sale.

That said, do you guys know anything about how Newegg's Black November sales usually go? From my research, it seems as though they put almost everything on some sort of sale at some point, with certain things getting more off than others.

EDIT: Also, a friend of mine is insisting that an SSD is a waste of money that I should just put towards a better video card. Thoughts?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 21, 2012 3:47:02 PM

ssd reads the os faster then a hhd as there are no mechanical parts like a regular hdd. So games and os installed on the ssd will load faster then a hdd. So it is not a waste of money. Although some ssd's are really over priced in my opinion but then again a lot of pc components are lol
September 21, 2012 3:53:15 PM

SSDs will not provide any gaming performance benefits, but at this price range, a small, 128gb SSD can be fit into your build budget along with a GTX 670 so it makes sense to get one imo. An SSD will allow games to load up faster and your system to boot quicker.
Again, Newegg reviews is not a credible source, look at reviews from actual review sites. Many Newegg reviewers are uninformed buyers who review only when they encounter problems.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 21, 2012 4:08:51 PM

TemurAmir said:
SSDs will not provide any gaming performance benefits, but at this price range, a small, 128gb SSD can be fit into your build budget along with a GTX 670 so it makes sense to get one imo. An SSD will allow games to load up faster and your system to boot quicker.
Again, Newegg reviews is not a credible source, look at reviews from actual review sites. Many Newegg reviewers are uninformed buyers who review only when they encounter problems.



You first say they will receive no performance benefits in games yet go on to say that games will load faster? No offence but how can they both be true at the same time? I would call a game loading faster a benefit. And it is more easily and faster read from an ssd then a hdd. I would also call that a benefit. The way you worded it can easily confuse some one lol
September 21, 2012 4:16:49 PM

I understood what he meant. It's the same argument my friend used: Better to buy a better graphics card and suffer through longer load times, rather than have exceptional load times and have a worse experience in the actual game. At this point, it depends on sales and how much money I have access to (in a little bit of uncertainty regarding the exact amount right now).

I'd LOVE to have an SSD with my OS and a few of my favorite games on it, so I hope I can snag one for around $75 come Black November, but if not, I won't shed any tears over it.
September 21, 2012 4:30:16 PM

To go back a little bit, I also own a GPU from MSI (6950 unlocked!). It has been rock solid but that doesn't mean that MSI is better than EVGA. I linked to the MSI card because it had similar spec (card was overclocked) but was a bit cheaper.

About the SSD...
If you are interested in boot times < 30sec from power button to desktop you will need an SSD. Also I agree that TemurAmir didn't word that well.

An SSD will not help with frame rates or much else while you are playing the game. An SSD will help with launch times for the game/application and level load times for games.

Personally I bought into the SSD craze back when they were around $2/GB, haven't ever regretted that purchase. I wouldn't build a system that didn't have one.

In fact, at work I do IT purchasing and standard builds for our organization. I have already convinced my manager that SSDs in all machines is worth the cost and I am about to pitch it to our director.

With how low the cost of SSDs are there isn't much reason not to get one. I think I may wait for Black Friday and pick up a 512GB SSD, I could see some SSDs going on sale for about .50/GB on black friday.
September 21, 2012 4:40:48 PM

j2j663 said:
To go back a little bit, I also own a GPU from MSI (6950 unlocked!). It has been rock solid but that doesn't mean that MSI is better than EVGA. I linked to the MSI card because it had similar spec (card was overclocked) but was a bit cheaper.

About the SSD...
If you are interested in boot times < 30sec from power button to desktop you will need an SSD. Also I agree that TemurAmir didn't word that well.

An SSD will not help with frame rates or much else while you are playing the game. An SSD will help with launch times for the game/application and level load times for games.

Personally I bought into the SSD craze back when they were around $2/GB, haven't ever regretted that purchase. I wouldn't build a system that didn't have one.

In fact, at work I do IT purchasing and standard builds for our organization. I have already convinced my manager that SSDs in all machines is worth the cost and I am about to pitch it to our director.

With how low the cost of SSDs are there isn't much reason not to get one. I think I may wait for Black Friday and pick up a 512GB SSD, I could see some SSDs going on sale for about .50/GB on black friday.


I'll keep that in mind about the video card. Thanks for giving me your reasoning!

About SSD's... That cheap? Wow, I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for them. Tell me: Is it significantly more difficult to install/manage both a standard hard drive and an SSD? I'm a complete and utter noob at this, and I don't want to get in over my head.
September 21, 2012 7:04:19 PM

Yeah SSDs are down to about $.75/GB for cheaper ones but still around $1/GB for the new and faster ones. But all that makes me think that record low prices could be hit on Black Friday.

No it is not overly complicated to manage both a standard HDD and an SSD. There are a couple different ways of doing it. Some spend a bit more time it the beginning and that can lead to almost zero interaction after the initial setup (I setup my GF laptop this way). And some are easier to setup in the beginning but you will need more manual interaction to make sure the things you want stored on the HDD get moved there.
September 21, 2012 9:56:12 PM

j2j663 said:
Yeah SSDs are down to about $.75/GB for cheaper ones but still around $1/GB for the new and faster ones. But all that makes me think that record low prices could be hit on Black Friday.

No it is not overly complicated to manage both a standard HDD and an SSD. There are a couple different ways of doing it. Some spend a bit more time it the beginning and that can lead to almost zero interaction after the initial setup (I setup my GF laptop this way). And some are easier to setup in the beginning but you will need more manual interaction to make sure the things you want stored on the HDD get moved there.


That's good to hear. It's so hard to wait until then to buy, but it really seems like it'll be worth it to get the savings.

Also, good to know about the set-up. I'll probably be back as it gets closer to buying-and-building time to learn exactly how to do it: This site and the people on it have given me new faith in the internet and its denizens.
September 21, 2012 10:14:47 PM

For the record it is just my hope that some models of SSDs will get their prices cut for Black Friday.

I will say that TH has some pretty good people on its forums. The thing that will turn people off from helping is if the poster comes across as lazy. If someone can't be bothered to type a google search before they post or even read a link someone posts, then there is no reason, in my mind, to help them.

You however have been very willing to learn, which is why we are happy to answer any questions you have. Anyone at TH will tell you that we are always looking to show someone new how much fun this computer stuff really is.
September 21, 2012 10:48:53 PM

TemurAmir said:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/i3H4/benchmarks/

....

Newegg reviews generally aren't very accurate since most of the reviewers complaining don't know much about what they're talking about. I'm still not sure if you are planning/know how to overclock so if you are not, you can drop to a 3550 i5 cpu and take out the CPU cooler since those will not be necessary. The Sabertooth motherboard you had listed is a little overpriced with features you probably won't be using so I changed that. I really don't know much about Blue Ray drives so it may be beneficial to adjust that aspect of the build. The Samsung 830 is one of the fastest SSDs out now. GTX 670 will also be a step above your 570.


Dude, I don't know HOW I missed this post when you first made it, but that's super cool and extremely helpful. Thanks!

Quote:
For the record it is just my hope that some models of SSDs will get their prices cut for Black Friday.

I will say that TH has some pretty good people on its forums. The thing that will turn people off from helping is if the poster comes across as lazy. If someone can't be bothered to type a google search before they post or even read a link someone posts, then there is no reason, in my mind, to help them.

You however have been very willing to learn, which is why we are happy to answer any questions you have. Anyone at TH will tell you that we are always looking to show someone new how much fun this computer stuff really is.


Yeah, I realize that, but if their track record is any indication, there will be at least some sales, i would imagine. But seriously, you guys are the best. I've gotten so much help here, so much advice and suggested parts... pretty nuts.
September 21, 2012 11:56:02 PM

zolton33 said:
You first say they will receive no performance benefits in games yet go on to say that games will load faster? No offence but how can they both be true at the same time? I would call a game loading faster a benefit. And it is more easily and faster read from an ssd then a hdd. I would also call that a benefit. The way you worded it can easily confuse some one lol


Sorry that is my bad; I can see how that would be confusing... I should have phrased it as receiving no performance benefits while actually playing the game (in terms of frame rates, etc.). I'm lucky the OP knew what I was talking about though ;) .
a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2012 12:41:36 AM

TemurAmir said:
Sorry that is my bad; I can see how that would be confusing... I should have phrased it as receiving no performance benefits while actually playing the game (in terms of frame rates, etc.). I'm lucky the OP knew what I was talking about though ;) .


No problem. i only said some thing as quite a few people who come here for answers are not always that knowledgeable if you know what i mean. Plus a lot of these topics and posts show up on google search so just wanted to help clarify a bit in case some one else saw it. Although i am glad the op knew what you were saying as well because i was having a hard time trying to explain it >_<
!