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Gaming Desktop Under $1500

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October 15, 2012 7:36:37 PM

I want to build a new desktop to replace my old desktop (Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 + NVidia GTX 280).
I love gaming and I also want to do some programming and photo editing on my new desktop.

Here are the details:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 3 months (by the end of the year)

Budget Range: $1200~1500 CAD before rebate/shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, Photo Processing (Lightroom, PS)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: New build, but can use some parts from my old desktop (e.g. PSU, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc)

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX, Canada Computers, Newegg(maybe)

Location: Toronto, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel + Nvidia

Overclocking: NO

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments:

I am not sure whether I should go for a Core-i7 platform or an i5 one: i5 is more cost-effective but i7 is slightly better.
I also need a SSD(for OS) and a HDD(for storing data), don't need a DVD drive though

Things I could use from my old PC:
1. PSU (Antec CP-850 CP Series 850W) I made a mistake, it should be Cooler Master 750W
2. Keyboard (Logitech Wave)
3. Mouse (Razer)
4. Monitor: 24 inch ASUS 1080P

Any suggestion will be appreciated!
Thanks in advance! :) 

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October 15, 2012 7:52:59 PM
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October 15, 2012 7:55:20 PM

Honestly any AMD card outperforms a Nvidia card. The 7970 GHz Edition will kick the 670's ass and outperform the 680. Amd has had many improvements with the newest Catalyst driver. You'll regret buying Nvidia.
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October 15, 2012 8:20:27 PM



hmm.... According to the benchmark you sent me, they are both great cards :D 
But since Intel and Nvidia are in the same boat, I am guessing maybe they are better from a compatibility prospective?

By the way, overclocking is really not my objective, so maybe I don't need the Z77 board?
October 15, 2012 8:41:55 PM



And thank you very much for the reply!

One question though: Why can't I keep the PSU?
October 15, 2012 9:36:32 PM

This is what I come up with.
Take a look:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kqnE

I still can't decide between

AMD Radeon HD 7970 - 925MHz/5.5GHz 3GB GDDR5
and
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 - 1006MHz/6.006GHz 2GB GDDR5

Any suggestions?
October 15, 2012 11:55:21 PM

For sure the 7970GHz Edition. Get a Z77 if you ever care to upgrade your CPU. You're paying less for equal or in some cases better performance. I'm not a fan of Antec PSU's but if you want to reuse it why not. Instead of getting Ripjaws go for the Ares series because it's cheaper and it's low profile so you'll be able to fit a CPU cooler. And another thing is, it doesn't work like Intel-Nvidia/AMD-AMD. It really goes both ways.
http://www.dailytech.com/AMDs+Radeon+HD+7970+GHz+Editio...
There's a little article showing they're pretty equal but AMD having some better features with new drivers. Such as boost mode.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
October 16, 2012 12:34:34 AM

hunterpostit88 said:
Honestly any AMD card outperforms a Nvidia card. The 7970 GHz Edition will kick the 670's ass and outperform the 680. Amd has had many improvements with the newest Catalyst driver. You'll regret buying Nvidia.


That is one of the most absurd blanket statements I have ever heard. I would probably recomend a 7970Ghz for him too, but to say that "any AMD card will always outperform an NVIDIA card" is just not accurate and a huge overgeneralization. In fact, 4 of the 6 builds in the guide you put together linked under your signature have Nvidia GPU's. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't understand computers or anything.

Overall the 7970 Ghz is the top of the heap right now, but there are some situations where an Nvidia card makes sense. I got my 2 670s at a bargan and they demolish any game out there. Wait a few months and the pendulum will swing back to Nvidia, as it always does, then back to AMD, and so on and so forth.
October 16, 2012 12:46:55 AM

davidzip14 said:
This is what I come up with.
Take a look:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kqnE

I still can't decide between

AMD Radeon HD 7970 - 925MHz/5.5GHz 3GB GDDR5
and
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 - 1006MHz/6.006GHz 2GB GDDR5

Any suggestions?


Get the 7970Ghz edition. If you are going Nvidia the 680 is kind of a ripoff because it is only a tiny bit faster than the 670 and it costs like $100 more. If you are going to go NVIDIA get a 670. But still, right now the 7970ghz edition is the King.
October 16, 2012 1:48:59 PM

hunterpostit88 said:
For sure the 7970GHz Edition. Get a Z77 if you ever care to upgrade your CPU. You're paying less for equal or in some cases better performance. I'm not a fan of Antec PSU's but if you want to reuse it why not. Instead of getting Ripjaws go for the Ares series because it's cheaper and it's low profile so you'll be able to fit a CPU cooler. And another thing is, it doesn't work like Intel-Nvidia/AMD-AMD. It really goes both ways.
http://www.dailytech.com/AMDs+Radeon+HD+7970+GHz+Editio...
There's a little article showing they're pretty equal but AMD having some better features with new drivers. Such as boost mode.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


Thank you for the very detailed answer!
It is really helpful!
October 16, 2012 1:51:08 PM

nstiver said:
Get the 7970Ghz edition. If you are going Nvidia the 680 is kind of a ripoff because it is only a tiny bit faster than the 670 and it costs like $100 more. If you are going to go NVIDIA get a 670. But still, right now the 7970ghz edition is the King.


Thank you! :) 
October 16, 2012 2:02:49 PM

You can get an H77 mobo since you arent overclocking, also get the i5 3470 instead. Should generally be cheaper. (Btw, I like the Asrock H77 Pro4 :D )

With that, save some money for a few months then next year, upgrade to the new Haswell chips from Intel. :) 

+1 on that 7970 GHz Edition. Able to max out any game today.
October 16, 2012 2:18:17 PM

Best answer selected by davidzip14.
!