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How does this build look?

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October 18, 2012 7:21:05 PM

Hello,

I'm planning on building a new PC (my first build, actually) and I was wondering how this build looks? I'm not really ready to build it yet, but I'm hoping to pick up most of the parts around Black Friday.

Anyway, here's the build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k56p

How does it look for gaming, will I be able to play BF3, ArmA 2 and the like? Fallout 3/NV with ENBs and texture packs? I'm thinking I need a bigger PSU as I plan to overclock and a CPU cooler, as well, but I was thinking for now I could leave out the cooler.

And finally, I've never had an AMD CPU (but all of my computers have had their GPUs) before, am I going to be disappointed with it? Since this is a gaming build I really don't want to shell out for Intel (and even if I wasn't I still can't spend that much).

Edit: I'll add a slightly updated build here in case anyone wants to see it: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kTAI

More about : build

October 18, 2012 7:36:37 PM

Intel Ivybridge i3 outperforms the phenom, and actually works out cheaper, as, although CPU is more, mobo is less, and you don't need aftermarket cooler. Unless you overclock that Phenom, performance would be WAY below i3-3220.
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October 19, 2012 7:32:03 PM

malbluff said:
Intel Ivybridge i3 outperforms the phenom, and actually works out cheaper, as, although CPU is more, mobo is less, and you don't need aftermarket cooler. Unless you overclock that Phenom, performance would be WAY below i3-3220.


Hmm, I was reading about that on the front page. So then I have some new questions. If I get an i3, then what motherboard should I get with it? And you can't overclock an i3, right? What if I upgrade to an i5 later on, how would that affect my choice? And finally, my current computer has a Core 2 Duo at 2.66Ghz, am I going to notice much difference between this and an i3? Sorry, for all the questions, but these parts aren't too cheap, so I wanna make sure I'm going to like what I buy.
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October 19, 2012 8:28:02 PM

To answer last point first, yes you will get a decent boost, not only from higher base speed, but from better general performance, plus gains from the latest 7 series mobo, and faster RAM. Those gains would be greater, than from an "upgrade" to a Phenom, even if you overclock it.
For an i3-3220, you can use H77 motherboard. Even a basic one, like ASRock H77M, will give good performance, for gaming. Two things you can't do with a H77 is overclock CPU (obviously not an issue with i3), and have two nVidia cards, in SLi. There is support for 2x Radeon cards, in crossfire, but not at optimum performance. If you don't want the ability to upgrade, later, to an overclockable Intel processor, and don't plan on adding a 2nd graphics card, the H77 is plenty enough.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to use, say, i5-3570K, in the future, and/or have TWO graphics cards, you should get a Z77 motherboard. They tend to be a bit more expensive than H77's. At the moment, however, Newegg have an offer on for an ASROCK Extreme 4, that's quite good, for $135. The good thing, is they are throwing in 8GB of decent 1600MHz RAM, for that price, which makes the "effective" price, of the mobo, under $100, which is very good, for a Z77.
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October 19, 2012 9:57:52 PM

malbluff said:
To answer last point first, yes you will get a decent boost, not only from higher base speed, but from better general performance, plus gains from the latest 7 series mobo, and faster RAM. Those gains would be greater, than from an "upgrade" to a Phenom, even if you overclock it.
For an i3-3220, you can use H77 motherboard. Even a basic one, like ASRock H77M, will give good performance, for gaming. Two things you can't do with a H77 is overclock CPU (obviously not an issue with i3), and have two nVidia cards, in SLi. There is support for 2x Radeon cards, in crossfire, but not at optimum performance. If you don't want the ability to upgrade, later, to an overclockable Intel processor, and don't plan on adding a 2nd graphics card, the H77 is plenty enough.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to use, say, i5-3570K, in the future, and/or have TWO graphics cards, you should get a Z77 motherboard. They tend to be a bit more expensive than H77's. At the moment, however, Newegg have an offer on for an ASROCK Extreme 4, that's quite good, for $135. The good thing, is they are throwing in 8GB of decent 1600MHz RAM, for that price, which makes the "effective" price, of the mobo, under $100, which is very good, for a Z77.


Alright, thanks, so simple things like un-raring files and moving things around will be faster? I know I'll get a boost in gaming because my current GPU is an ATI Radeon 2600 Pro with 256 MB of VRAM, which is pretty bad. How would this mother board: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00863R1FU/?tag=pcpapi-20 do? It's pretty cheap and I've never heard of the brand (not a good sign), but I like the price as it would balance out the cost of the i3. Also, I'm fine without SLI as I have no plans to use nVidia, since I'm use to AMD cards and I have no experience with Crossfire, so I'm not planning to use that either (I can just buy a single new card when the time comes to replace the old). I understand I won't be able to overclock the CPU and that's fine with me, but will I still be able to overclock the GPU? The 7870 I wanted is sold out and I found a nice 7850 2GB that I was hoping I could just overclock instead. Also, I can still upgrade to an i5 later on, I just can't overclock it (so don't get an unlocked model), right? Oh, and will all this fit in an Antec three hundred case? I already have one and don't plan on buying a new case, I read the specs online and everything looks fine, but I just want to be sure. Thanks again for all the help.
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October 20, 2012 2:09:41 AM

The i3 and Phenom both have its own ups and downs.

The i3 is generally known to be better in games, but the Phenom is a quad-core. That's gonna come in handy especially on BF3 multiplayer.
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October 20, 2012 2:49:47 PM

I've heard of ECS, but that's about it. I've no experience of them. That board LOOKS very similar to the ASRock H77M, and the same price. The ASRock is a reasonable budget board, but have no idea how the two compare. You can use i5 with either, but obviously not overclock CPU. As Excella 1221 said, whilst i3 is great for gaming, there are benefits, for multi-player, in some games. H77 doesn't restrict you, in respect of GPU. Antec case will be fine.
It has to be said that a future UPGRADE from i3 to i5 is unlikely to be worthwhile. Apart from multi-player, in a few games, there is little benefit in that upgrade, to justify the cost. If funds were available NOW, it might be worth getting i5, from day one.
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October 20, 2012 8:19:10 PM

excella1221 said:
The i3 and Phenom both have its own ups and downs.

The i3 is generally known to be better in games, but the Phenom is a quad-core. That's gonna come in handy especially on BF3 multiplayer.


And how about on CPU heavy RPGs? I don't play many RPGs honestly, but I do love Fallout and I'm thinking about picking up Skyrim. I also read that ArmA II is heavy on the CPU, I'm guessing ArmA III will be, too, will these kinds of games do better on a quad-core? I realize we can't predict the future, but I'm also wondering about Metro: Last Light. If you guys have any thoughts on all that, it would be greatly appreciated.

malbluff said:
I've heard of ECS, but that's about it. I've no experience of them. That board LOOKS very similar to the ASRock H77M, and the same price. The ASRock is a reasonable budget board, but have no idea how the two compare. You can use i5 with either, but obviously not overclock CPU. As Excella 1221 said, whilst i3 is great for gaming, there are benefits, for multi-player, in some games. H77 doesn't restrict you, in respect of GPU. Antec case will be fine.
It has to be said that a future UPGRADE from i3 to i5 is unlikely to be worthwhile. Apart from multi-player, in a few games, there is little benefit in that upgrade, to justify the cost. If funds were available NOW, it might be worth getting i5, from day one.


Alright, I'm not sure on the price, though, the ASRock looked to be $10-$15 more. I've heard of ASRock, I just want to save as much as I can for the GPU, but I don't want to buy something that's going to fry after a few months either. Ok, about the GPU, can I overclock, safely, a 7850 to the level of a 7950, or at least the 7870? Perhaps I'm trying to push it too far, but the 7870 is now quite a bit more than the 7850 I found instead, but besides speed, I don't see much difference. Also, will 550 watts be enough for that and maybe some future upgrades? It looks fine, but I want to be sure of everything. What about in a year or two? Would an i5 (likely in a new version) be worth it then? I don't plan to change anything major for at least a year if possible. Of course, again, we can't predict the future, but just guessing from the past. Ok, one more thing (I have a lot of questions, sorry if it's annoying), I have been hearing a lot about Piledriver coming out in a few days, since I'm not building quite yet, do you think these may offer a new opportunity? Or are they likely to be too new and too expensive to justify?

Edit: Ok, another question, what is the difference between this RAM: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-240-Pin-Platfor... and this RAM: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00569K7LM/?tag=pcpapi-20

All I'm seeing is that the first one is $5 cheaper and the second one doesn't have those crazy heatsinks? If that's it, I think I'd rather save $5.
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October 20, 2012 9:15:11 PM

The ASRock H77M is $69.99 on Newegg
The problem, with an upgrade from i3 Ivybridge to i5, is that Ivybridge is likely to be the last to use LGA1155 motherboards. The next series, Haswell, is supposed to be having a new motherboard, LGA1150. An upgrade from i3 to i5 Ivybridge doesn't make sense, if you want i5, the only sensible way is to do it from the start, although, obviously, it's more expensive. If you were going to go that route, and you have a local Microcentre, it would make sense to go all the way, and get i5-3570K and a Z77 mobo, as they're doing a $50 off combo offer. That would take the cost of CPU + mobo up to around $270, so I appreciate that may not be possible, but would give you the best possible option, that you could even overclock, to get still better.
550w is plenty for almost any single graphics card system, and in terms of future upgrades, the tendancy is for each new series of graphics cards to need less power.
General rule with RAM, always use low profile. High heat sinks really so nothing, except some people think they look good. If you've got low profile, you can always fit a better CPU cooler, without worrying about it fouling high heat sinks.
Of the GPU's you mentioned, assuming funds were available, if not unlimited, I might tend to go for an MSI TwinFrozr HD7870 (or possibly a GTX660 depending on what games I wanted to play)
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October 21, 2012 7:22:53 PM

malbluff said:
The ASRock H77M is $69.99 on Newegg
The problem, with an upgrade from i3 Ivybridge to i5, is that Ivybridge is likely to be the last to use LGA1155 motherboards. The next series, Haswell, is supposed to be having a new motherboard, LGA1150. An upgrade from i3 to i5 Ivybridge doesn't make sense, if you want i5, the only sensible way is to do it from the start, although, obviously, it's more expensive. If you were going to go that route, and you have a local Microcentre, it would make sense to go all the way, and get i5-3570K and a Z77 mobo, as they're doing a $50 off combo offer. That would take the cost of CPU + mobo up to around $270, so I appreciate that may not be possible, but would give you the best possible option, that you could even overclock, to get still better.
550w is plenty for almost any single graphics card system, and in terms of future upgrades, the tendancy is for each new series of graphics cards to need less power.
General rule with RAM, always use low profile. High heat sinks really so nothing, except some people think they look good. If you've got low profile, you can always fit a better CPU cooler, without worrying about it fouling high heat sinks.
Of the GPU's you mentioned, assuming funds were available, if not unlimited, I might tend to go for an MSI TwinFrozr HD7870 (or possibly a GTX660 depending on what games I wanted to play)


Ah, ok, I'm a bit locked into buying from Amazon, although, I could probably buy a part from elsewhere if it was under a $100. Ok, I'll just forget about the i5 then, I don't need it or anything, it just sounded like a nice upgrade, but I'm guessing I would be better off putting any future upgrades into the GPU instead. Hmm, it seems I actually do have a Microcentre in my area (learn something new everyday), but it isn't too convenient and like I said, most of my money is tied up on Amazon, so I'm afraid it would be pretty difficult for me to spend that much elsewhere, sounds like a nice offer, though. Ok, but will overclocking the GPU suck up enough power to cause problems, or should I still be fine? I'll stick with the original RAM then, it doesn't matter much anyway, the prices of both of them went up. I'd love to get a 7870, but I'm having a hard time finding one that can keep me on budget, I was hoping to stay around $200 or less for the GPU, but I realize I don't want to skimp on it. Hey, what if I got this? It would keep me on budget: http://microcentre.com/product/384806/34GHz_Socket_775_...

Haha, I'm thinking not.
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October 21, 2012 11:07:54 PM

The cheapest I seen a HD7870, is a twin fanned one, from XFX, but that's on Newegg @ $209.99.
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