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New build - replacing a 5yr old system with some new share parts

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October 8, 2012 6:56:49 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Anytime, possibly buying them one by one.

Budget Range: $500 - $1500 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming > Video editing(casual) > Surfing.

CPU: i7-3770s (from friend) [$0]

CPU Cooler: Need recommendation

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 [$135]

Graphics: PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 2GBD5-2DHPP Radeon HD 7870 2GB [$215], need recommendation on brand.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8Q-8GBRM [$60]

Storage: SSD (Need recommendation on 240-256GB), plus existing 2nd HDD Samsung 750GB 7200

Case: Need recommendation (USB 3.0 front ports are desire),
(or existing Rosewill Conqueror WBK Triple 120mm Fans Steel ATX Mid tower Computer Case)

Power Supply: Need recommendation
(or existing Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready)

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None particular

Location: SF, CA, US

Parts Preferences: None particular.

Overclocking: Maybe, but I believe this CPU doesn’t support overclock.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, in the future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1440 x 900 (Dell U2412M)

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Additional Comments:
This will be replacing my original build [Core 2 duo 3.0ghz, 8GB DDR2, HD Radeon 4850, etc..].

Graphics and performances are important but highest-end solution is not necessary.

Budget is a concern but I am willing to spend extra money here and there if the cost/performance ratio have a reasonable increase.

Questions:
1) Are there any difference in the same graphic card but a different brand? I see some with upwards of 50 dollars difference in price, and how does this affect performance?

2) Would the difference between i7-3770s and i7-3770k large enough for me to consider buying my own CPU? (I did not find any review on i7-3770s)


Major and minor revision to this build are more than welcome, it is a great learning process.

Thank you all for your support!
October 8, 2012 9:29:38 AM

Stick with the i7-3770s, it's not overclockable, yes, but you're lucky to have it for free.

I suggest the Hyper 212 EVO, for a CPU cooler; though since you won't be overclocking, the stock cooler should be fine(if your friend handed that over too).

GPU brands usually differ from their stock clocks, custom coolers, and reliability. Most of them are great though, just pick the one with good features at an affordable price.

That Powercolor 7870 you linked is out of stock btw. Though for a GHz Edition.. that's an awesome price. If you somehow manage to buy one, that would be a really good catch.

As for SSD, I would suggest either the Vertex 4, Samsung 830, or Plextor MS5.

Your PSU and casing still look good to me.
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October 8, 2012 9:59:05 AM

Keep the 3770S. It does have limited overclocking but it's not necessary anyway, it's a powerful unit by itself. Since you're only maybe crossfiring that probably means no - I'd downgrade the mobo a bit and go for a radeon 7950. If you're not crossfiring in a relatively short time from purchase it makes little sense - you should just upgrade to the next GPU architechture when it comes out instead of crossfiring at that point.

As for the SSD, I echo the Samsung. Consider also the Crucial M4.

Your case and PSU seem fine unless you're itching for an upgrade.
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October 9, 2012 7:38:53 AM

Thank you both for the detail responds, it definitely helps to refine my search.

Excella1221,

Thank you for your heatsink suggestion, too bad my friend is not handing over his cooler. =)

As for the HDD, I'll keep my eyes on your recommendation. It is a nice additional but I am going to get that item last, because I can wait for the price to fall (or to jump to a 516G) while I gather the other parts on this build.

FinneousPJ,

Could you explain why is it not a good idea to go with crossfire if I am not doing it in a relatively short time? This is an option that I would like to explore but I was planning to get the 2nd card later down the road (not anytime soon). And does it have to be the exact same card?

For my current system I have a chance to go with crossfire (I forgot the model), but regrettably my motherboard only contain 1 PCIe x16 slot. So this time I am going with a board that have 2 PCIe slot.

I am also incline to go with the 7950, the 7870 that I linked is not longer available. And since I don't need to buy a case and power supply I can use the money towards the card.

As for the RAMs, I understand most build are sufficient 8 GBs, but would 16 GBs benefit me in gaming and video editing? Also, would 4 x 4 better than 8 x 2 configuration?

Thanks!
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October 9, 2012 7:48:51 AM

Also, would ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 be an alternate choice if I do not overclock?

I was not absolutely sure if the difference between a Z77 and a H77 motherboard are only their overclocking ability.

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October 9, 2012 7:49:08 AM

krossroad said:
Thank you both for the detail responds, it definitely helps to refine my search.

FinneousPJ,

Could you explain why is it not a good idea to go with crossfire if I am not doing it in a relatively short time? This is an option that I would like to explore but I was planning to get the 2nd card later down the road (not anytime soon). And does it have to be the exact same card?

For my current system I have a chance to go with crossfire (I forgot the model), but regrettably my motherboard only contain 1 PCIe x16 slot. So this time I am going with a board that have 2 PCIe slot.

I am also incline to go with the 7950, the 7870 that I linked is not longer available. And since I don't need to buy a case and power supply I can use the money towards the card.

As for the RAMs, I understand most build are sufficient 8 GBs, but would 16 GBs benefit me in gaming and video editing? Also, would 4 x 4 better than 8 x 2 configuration?

Thanks!


Because if you're doing it say next year, the AMD HD8000-series is already out or around the corner. At this point it makes little sense upgrading to a more noisy, more prone to overheating crossfire configuration. You should just sell your current unit and upgrade the superior new gen unit. Crossfire is meant for people who drive huge resolutions on 30" screens or eyefinity configs; people who need the power NOW - it's not a brilliant upgrade path.

I believe AMD XFire works with different cards as long as the chip is the same, e.g. a MSI 7950 with a Sapphire 7950 should work, however I would try to get two of the same to avoid potential problems.

16 GB might benefit you in video editing, but not gaming. In theory 2x8GB would be better but it's in no way noticeable. Also 2x8GB can further be expanded if needed. I wouldn't, however, pay much of a premium for it - RAM prices are coming down constantly so it makes little sense to invest top dollar in the newest tech when it's mainstream (with mainstream prices) next year.
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October 9, 2012 7:50:11 AM

krossroad said:
Also, would ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 be an alternate choice if I do not overclock?

I was not absolutely sure if the difference between a Z77 and a H77 motherboard are only their overclocking ability.

Yes, it's a nice choice. I don't think it has two PCIE slots either, BTW.

The major difference is that indeed, other than that make sure it has all the connectors and features you need.
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October 9, 2012 7:59:35 AM

You can't SLI/CF on the H77. The 2nd card will bottleneck since you can only be placed on the PCI-E 2.0 which is x4.
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