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New build, would like advice

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October 26, 2012 9:43:05 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 to 3 months.

Budget Range: ($2000-$2500) After tax; After shipping.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Game development, Internet, School stuff.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: This will be a completely new build.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com , alternate.nl , pc-parts.nl ( sorry for being a dutch man :D  ).

Location: Lisse, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands.

Parts Preferences: intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe, if my cooler suffices...

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: It should be quiet but not top priority, I want to be able to max most games for 1-2 jears, and want everything to be playable for 4-6 jears.

I'm upgrading because I got my old computer from my grandparents :cry:  ,
also I'm into gaming (a lot) and game developing, and would thus like to be able to run CryEngine 3 SDK.

This is the build I had in mind (but if someone can improve this, I'd be thankfull):

Processor: Intel Core i5-3570k
Graphic Card: AMD Radeon HD 7950 vapor-X OC
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z77
Ram: Corsair Vengeance DDR3, 1600-8GK CL9
SSD: Crucial M4 2,5" 128GB SATA
HDD: Seagate Barricuda 1TB, SATA3
Cooling: Hyper 212 EVO
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DG, PCI
Casing: Cooler Master Silencio 550
Netwerkkaart: Intel PRO/1000 GT Netwerk PCI Adapter
Cardreader: DeLOCK kaartlezer: USB 2.0 CardReader 43 in 1 + USB 2.0
Optical Drive: LG DVR 22X DL, SATA
Power supply unit: Thermaltake SMART M850W
Operating System: Windows 7 home premium 64bit/Windows 8
Monitor: Iiyama 27" (don't know which one)
Speakers: Logitech Z506

And besides that I've got some questions:
1: Is my aforemended build compatible?
2: I don't trust my cooling, does anyone know a better one?
3: Do we still need Cardreaders?
4: Does my English suck?

More about : build advice

October 26, 2012 9:52:06 PM

Everything looks compatible, though I'm not familiar with the case. You don't need to spend extra money buying a sound and network card, your motherboard comes with those integrated. I'd also swap your power supply for an Antec / Corsair / Seasonic / XFX.

The Hyper 212 EVO is a perfectly good cooler. There are 'better' top of the line options that usually cost a lot more money, but you would only need to upgrade to one of those if you are planning to do extreme overclocking.

You don't need a card reader unless you have a specific purpose in mind. Like if you have a camera that uses a flash memory card of some kind. Otherwise, no.

Your english is better than many Americans, sad to say.
October 26, 2012 10:01:45 PM

A few observations:
Motherboard: The Sabretooth is a good board, but stupidly overprice, and really give nothing, except a long warranty, over cheaper boards. Stick with Asus, if you wish, they very good quality, but something like P8Z77-V, or at most V Pro.
You don't give full part no, for RAM. It needs to be CML (low profile), to avoid clash with cooler. Ideally you want 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHzC9 DDR3, unless you need more, for your work.
Very much doubt you need a sound card. "on board" is pretty good.
If you want a "quiet" case, the Fractal Design Refine R4, is good.
Get a card reader, only if you need it for photo work.
Avoid Thermaltake PSU's. If you are planning on adding 2nd graphics card, in crossfire, get 750w. Otherwise 550w is plenty. Seasonic, Antec, XFX, PC Power&Cooling, BeQuiet, are all good, in both sizes. Corsair TX or HX good, at 750w.
Related resources
October 26, 2012 10:20:53 PM

Thinking about it, if you are planning to add 2nd graphics card, AND you want a quiet PC, some thought needs to be put into that. For instance, so-called quiet cases usually sacrifice a bit of cooling performance, to achieve quiet. If, however, you have two fairly powerful graphics cards, plus overclock CPU, you are creating a lot of heat, which requires good ventilation. As I said, requires some thought. If you confirm if you intend 2 GPU's, I will have a look at the best options, for cooling/quiet.
October 26, 2012 10:31:16 PM

I'll second these two. You won't need an extra network card or sound adapter.

You don't necessarily need low-profile RAM, it depends how close to the CPU socket the RAM slots are. If in doubt, spending a bit more for the low-profile might give you some peace of mind.

With this budget, I'd up the SSD to 256GB if you can afford it. 128GB is a nice capacity, but having room for more games installed on the SSD means they load faster, which is nice. Also, the Samsung 830 series might get a price drop soon since the 840 models just launched.

For a monitor, I like the 1920x1200 size because the 16:10 ratio gives me a little more space to work. However they are considerably more expensive than the 1920x1080 models. Also with this budget, you might be able to get multiple monitors for surround visual gaming. Just a thought.

And no apologizing for being Dutch. Go orange!
October 26, 2012 10:36:08 PM

malbluff said:
Thinking about it, if you are planning to add 2nd graphics card, AND you want a quiet PC, some thought needs to be put into that. For instance, so-called quiet cases usually sacrifice a bit of cooling performance, to achieve quiet. If, however, you have two fairly powerful graphics cards, plus overclock CPU, you are creating a lot of heat, which requires good ventilation. As I said, requires some thought. If you confirm if you intend 2 GPU's, I will have a look at the best options, for cooling/quiet.

Good thinking. I would recommend a different route, that of a single high-end card. A single 7970 won't be as powerful as dual 7950s, but it will be much cheaper, quieter, and easier to cool. You'll still have enough graphical power to play games smoothly at high detail settings. Either way can be valid, of course.

The Raven 3 case isn't designed first for quiet operation, but the design cools very well at low fan settings so you might want to look at that.
October 26, 2012 10:43:21 PM

Yes, that's one way. I was thinking, perhaps along the lines, if having 2 cards, ensure cards are quiet, plus perhaps, case with much higher vent, so fans could be run a good bit below max speed, even with two cards. Don't really know the Raven, but yes, maybe, or something like Corsair 500R, or one of the better CoolerMasters, if OP likes Coolermaster.
October 26, 2012 11:04:04 PM

Tom's Raven review.

My Raven setup:



Basically, it makes the fans work with the concept that heat rises. The mboard is rotated so the cards are aligned bottom to top so air can flow right past them. It's not quite as quiet as cases designed specifically for acoustics, but it's close.
October 27, 2012 1:28:08 PM

Tried to edit my questions, but that didn't work out...
Anyway, I have one more question:
If I have some money left, should I upgrade the CPU or GPU?
And if I should upgrade GPU, should I do SLI/Crossfire or a more powerfull one?
And about the CPU, I've read a lot of review's and discovered that my i5 is better than some i7's. But do you know a better one for $420-$550?
October 27, 2012 1:57:55 PM

The i5-3570K is about as good as it gets, even if you spend a lot more. Up GPU, if you want more performance. HD7970 is very good. If you do go with HD7970, whilst 550w for one, or 750w for two, is adequate, it may be worth up-ing that to 600w & 850w, to give yourself plenty of "scope"
October 27, 2012 3:49:44 PM

Last question:
Is my system compatible with windows 8?
October 27, 2012 6:09:17 PM

Yes. I wouldn't be in a huge rush, to convert though. Suggest wait and see if it's worth a change.
October 29, 2012 3:27:49 PM

michaelconnor said:
Tried to edit my questions, but that didn't work out...
Anyway, I have one more question:
If I have some money left, should I upgrade the CPU or GPU?
And if I should upgrade GPU, should I do SLI/Crossfire or a more powerfull one?
And about the CPU, I've read a lot of review's and discovered that my i5 is better than some i7's. But do you know a better one for $420-$550?

What reviews suggest an i5 is better than an i7? In terms of raw power, the i7 is always better. In terms of game performance, they're the same. Comparing game performance per dollar spent, the i5 is the better value, so maybe that's what you mean.

I agree with Mal, that if you have extra money, spending it on the GPU will get you better game performance. But I'm not a huge fan of SLI/Crossfire setups unless you're playing across multiple monitors. The i5 with a 7970 will easily max out all games at 1920x1080. If you start using three screens, then dual GPU will be useful. Otherwise, a second GPU just gives you bragging rights and sucks down more electricity without actually improving your gameplay experience.

Instead of sinking a lot of extra money into a graphics card, what about upgrading your monitor? Maybe spend it on a really nice case. Or just save it for later.
October 29, 2012 6:57:31 PM

I'm thinking he might have been comparing the 3570k to a first gen i7 like a 950, in which case he would be right that the i5 is flat out better for gaming. Otherwise yeah, ivy bridge i7 and i5 are the same for games.

I'd agree with these guys, upgrade your GPU and don't bother with SLI.
!