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New $1300ish Build Advice Sought

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  • New Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
October 23, 2012 1:08:30 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month or so.
Budget Range: Around $1300-$1400 give or take
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any Canadian suppliers.
Location: Southern Ontario
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe someday, but not anytime soon
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

I'm thinking of building up a new computer as my 4 1/2 year old laptop just isn't cutting it anymore. Happily, I can play Civ V on low settings, but pretty much all new games (and some older ones) are now off limits to me.

My budget isn't set in stone, but the lower the final build cost the better. That being said, I am willing to pay for a few extras such as an SSD. Below is a list of the components I've selected so far. The PSU was pretty much chosen at random. I think I'd prefer a modular one, but am trying to keep costs down. Any alternate suggestions for low profile inexpensive RAM will be welcomed. My budget is getting bumped up by me need for a mouse and keyboard and I'd rather not spend too much on these. Again, suggestions are welcome as I really don't know what to look for. Also, good but inexpensive speakers will be needed.

I value any input offered. Thanks in advance.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($41.18 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.79 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1325.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

More about : 1300ish build advice sought

October 23, 2012 1:39:22 AM

i would switch the asrock extreme4 into extreme3, not much of a difference between the 2.

either downgrade the GPU into a 7870 since it is not much of a difference from a 7950 or upgrade it into a 7970/7970 ghz.
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/xfx-video-card-fx797gtd...
this 7970 GHz is on a pretty great deal right now.

i do not trust OCZ on most of their products, i just never got a good product from them so i do not get anything from them anymore so i would switch the PSU into a Corsair HX750 or XFX 750W

i had an nzxt 410, i had a bad time with cable management, the rubber holes kept falling out of place and just feels like low quality to me.

i would either go with HAF XM or 500R. if you want a windowed side panel then go with fractal R4
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Anonymous
October 23, 2012 2:16:19 AM

i'd suggest swapping out:
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($224.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $274.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

as stated the 7950 isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to that performance.
OCZ only has one decent series, the ZT, the rest are junk and you will not need more that a 550 watt PSU which will also handle overclocking.
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October 24, 2012 11:54:06 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. If a 7870 can overclock to the performance of a 7950, doesn't that mean that an overclocked 7950 would still be better? I'm not entirely sure if I want to spend the extra for a 7970. Also, if I do end up downgraded to a 7870, should I still stick with a 750w PSU in case I want to run two cards in the future? Is 750 enough for that?
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October 24, 2012 1:27:34 PM

I should add that I'm thinking of buying the motherboard, hard drives and monitor tomorrow. All of them are on sale at Canada Computers until tomorrow, and I can just pop in and pick them up locally. I'd like to know if anyone thinks I should hold off on these and look for something better.

As far as the Extreme 4 vs 3, the former is $60 off right now so there's not much of a price difference between the two.

Thanks.
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October 24, 2012 4:47:42 PM

Slow Trot said:
Thanks for the replies so far. If a 7870 can overclock to the performance of a 7950, doesn't that mean that an overclocked 7950 would still be better? I'm not entirely sure if I want to spend the extra for a 7970. Also, if I do end up downgraded to a 7870, should I still stick with a 750w PSU in case I want to run two cards in the future? Is 750 enough for that?


Yes the 7870 can overclock to the stock clocks of the 7950. The 7950 can overclock to the stock clocks of the 7970... Yet the 7970 can further overclock higher. So of course the higher step up of a card is always going to be stronger then the one bellow it otherwise it would be absolutely pointless.

When I see people suggesting this card is better choice because it overclocks to a stock clock of a higher card just piss me off.. It is one of the most naive and ignorant comments ever. It only further confuses people trying to learn to build a system.

All lower cards can mostly overclock to the stock of the card above it!! Does that make it acceptable to downgrade? IMO if you are spending 1200-1300 on a system don't go for a mid range card especially if you are a gamer. You'll always look back going wow I probably should have gone with the higher end card and not need to upgrade as quickly in the future.

I researched the Radeon cards and Nvidia cards quite a lot for months. I was tossed up between the 7970 and the GTX 670 and so many people tried to convince me to drop down to the 7950 because it can clock to a 7970. I'm sure as hell glad I stuck to the price point and balanced my system with the higher end card. if I were you I wouldn't downgrade your card infact I'd cut cost and upgrade to either a 7970 or a GTX 670 ones that are factory overclocked.

Just my 2 cents I would never listen to someone, or give them any credibility, who tells you to get a lower end card because it can upgrade to the stock clocks of the card above it.... Clearly the higher end card can further over clock making that argument invalid and ignorant.
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October 24, 2012 5:00:50 PM

Anonymous said:
i'd suggest swapping out:
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($224.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $274.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

as stated the 7950 isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to that performance.
OCZ only has one decent series, the ZT, the rest are junk and you will not need more that a 550 watt PSU which will also handle overclocking.



So by this logic, a 7870 would be as good as a stock 7970.... Why? Because by you saying that "the 7950 isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to that performance" then that means a 7870 should be able to overclock to beat or match a 7970. a 7950 can overclock to be as good as or even a little better then a stock 7970. Yet I know for a fact a 7870 CAN NOT overclock to come near a 7970 but by your reasoning a 7950 "isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to its performance"..

I'd probably refrain from suggesting anything to anybody because I know if I listened to this type of suggestion and figured out my performance isn't nearly as great as it could have been I'd be PISSED OFF because of being misguided.



@ OP since you said you probably will plan on Cross Fire / SLI in the future I'd suggest 700w-750w but if you decide to not ever do it then a 550w is fine. I really would stay clear of OCZ and go with a more reliable brand such as Seasonic, Corsair, Antec in no particular order.
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Anonymous
October 24, 2012 7:40:26 PM

Apropo said:
So by this logic, a 7870 would be as good as a stock 7970.... Why? Because by you saying that "the 7950 isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to that performance" then that means a 7870 should be able to overclock to beat or match a 7970. a 7950 can overclock to be as good as or even a little better then a stock 7970. Yet I know for a fact a 7870 CAN NOT overclock to come near a 7970 but by your reasoning a 7950 "isn't that great when a 7870 can overclock to its performance"..


OH RLY? :heink: 


there you have it; the card i suggested when overclocked beats a "vanilla" 7950; saving the OP $50.

:pfff: 
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Anonymous
October 25, 2012 1:00:20 AM

Apropo said:
now want me to find the benchmark of the OC'ed 7950 beating a "vanilla" 7970??

you mean like this?:

:o 
oh dear! looks like the 7950 card the OP had in their build (with the same game and test set up) cannot perform as well overclocked as the overclocked 7870 that i suggested let alone compete with a 7990. :??: 

so the 20% increase in performance is worth the 25% cost? yeah like you i'd be pissed off if someone gave me misguided advice that saved me $50 too.

(psst, the OP isn't looking to SPEND more money but SAVE it.)

edit: if you just want to make comments from the peanut gallery instead of making suggestions as the OP asked, you are on the wrong thread.
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November 22, 2012 12:16:48 PM

Sorry to drag up an old thread but the build date for this got pushed back a little bit. I've just purchased the CPU cooler and PSU and am hoping to score some good deals on everything else this weekend. Here are my current plans:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($206.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1182.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-22 09:11 EST-0500)


Someone I know may have an extra copy of Windows so I've removed this from my list for now. I do still need a monitor, but I'm not too picky so will probably just grab whatever I can get a good deal on. Also, I've decided to not purchase peripherals at the moment. I have old stuff kicking around which I can use for now and the added savings will allow me to get a better video card.

As far as RAM goes, will I be okay with any 1.5v DDR3-1600? Once again, I'll be looking out for what's on sale.

Thanks.
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Best solution

November 22, 2012 1:40:49 PM

Slow Trot said:
Sorry to drag up an old thread but the build date for this got pushed back a little bit. I've just purchased the CPU cooler and PSU and am hoping to score some good deals on everything else this weekend. Here are my current plans:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($206.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1182.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-22 09:11 EST-0500)


Someone I know may have an extra copy of Windows so I've removed this from my list for now. I do still need a monitor, but I'm not too picky so will probably just grab whatever I can get a good deal on. Also, I've decided to not purchase peripherals at the moment. I have old stuff kicking around which I can use for now and the added savings will allow me to get a better video card.

As far as RAM goes, will I be okay with any 1.5v DDR3-1600? Once again, I'll be looking out for what's on sale.

Thanks.


If it was possible to select yourself for best answer I'd do it because I don't think anyone could come up with a better build. This is a great build!
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November 22, 2012 2:11:56 PM

not a fan of 410 feels cheaper quality for a case around its price. If you like its style go for it cause i have had to much flamers saying that 410 is beast when i have had it and i could have had a much better case to build with.Ex:500R CM HAF XM

nice job on PSU i have the same one and it works great, also the cables might be a bit stiff so try to loosen it a little.

i would go for this SDD
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/a-data-internal-hard-dr...

just a bit cheaper for almost the same performance(just don't like OCZ but the vertex 4 i have been hearing some good things about)

this 2TB HDD is the same price and same model as that 1TB
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/seagate-internal-hard-d...

other than that it is pretty good

and i will just put in what i would build just for a reference

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($206.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.91 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.35 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP900 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($95.99 @ Computer Valley)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($17.93 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1167.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-22 11:08 EST-0500)

used ASUS for mobo instead because ASrock mobo is a bit smaller so it sometimes bend because the standoffs are for an ATX board so it might not fit securely.

the ASUS mobo is pretty much the same except it is a full length mobo and will not bend if you have all of your standoffs in place

i put inside a full tower because it is at a awesome price range and it is a great case, if you do not have room(i think you will if you were planning to get a 410) then just get a 500R, or CM HAF XM
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Anonymous
November 22, 2012 3:55:35 PM

Slow Trot said:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($206.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1182.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-22 09:11 EST-0500)


As far as RAM goes, will I be okay with any 1.5v DDR3-1600? Once again, I'll be looking out for what's on sale.

Thanks.

a 750 watt PSU is total overkill, an XFX 550 watt is completely fine for the build and will also allow overclocking. with a single monitor there is absolutely no reason to consider a 7970 Xfire set up later. .

DDR3 1600 @ 1.5 volts is perfect.
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November 22, 2012 10:42:09 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm probably going to start buying tomorrow and there is still a bit of flexibility depending on what I find on sale, but there won't be any major changes.
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November 22, 2012 10:43:45 PM

Best answer selected by Slow Trot.
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