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Building Gaming PC - First Time

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November 10, 2012 11:46:43 AM

Hey all,

I'm building a gaming computer for the first time, with the intentions of playing games such as Battlefield 3, Skyrim on ultra settings and I want a bit of future proofing.

I'm not very knowledgable when it comes to the ins and outs of hardware as i've just started reading up on it all recently so i'm hoping I could get some help on a build i've come up with (so far):

MB - Gigabyte SKT-1155 Z77x-UD3H Motherboard
CPU - Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K
GPU - Sapphire RADEON HD 7950 - OR - Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X

(Could do with some advice on the GPU, is it worth going for the Vapor-X? I might be reading it wrong but the HD 7950 Vapor-X = 850 Mhz while the HD 7950 = 900 Mhz? -

HD 7950 Vapor X - http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1...

HD 7950 - http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1...

Memory - Corsair Vengeance DDR3 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Hard Drive - Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM Internal Hard Disk Drive
PSU - Corsair CMPSU-600CXV2UK Builder Series 600W Power Supply
Cooling - Cooler Master Hyper 212+
(Been looking at Cooler Master Hyper EVO also but from what I've found on here I should go for the 212+ and fit a second fan)

Undecided on the case, waiting until I've decided on everything else until I find the most suitable one. Suggestions are of course welcome but I can probably find this on my own.

I will probably be Overclocking.



Thanks in advance.


More about : building gaming time

November 10, 2012 12:03:54 PM

What's your total budget?
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 12:05:32 PM

You are reading it a little wrong. The Vapor-X is a Boost version card with a Turbo up to 925MHz and the 900MHz 7950 is a factory overclocked model. The reference 7950 clock for GPU is only 800MHz.
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November 10, 2012 12:08:02 PM

ilysaml said:
What's your total budget?


So far with all the parts i'm considering i'm sitting at around £800, but i'm willing to spend up to around £1000 ($1590)
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 12:10:41 PM

Couple of points on main build.

Use i5-3570K rather than the 2500K. Better performance, lower power consumtion, more up to date, virtually same price. Your chosen mobo is also better suited to the 3570K. You don't say where you are, but if in States, and near a Microcentre, they have effectively $50 off the 3570K, at moment, making it even better deal.

If using Corsair Vengeance RAM, make sure it's a CML low profile model, to avoid a potential clash with CPU cooler.

On GPU, it's not straightforeward with the advantages of the VapourX. Good performance, possible question mark over long term reliability. Personally, I'd prefer a basic factory OC version, from MSI or Gigabyte. The XFX is also good value.

Most reasonably priced (avoid the real "cheapies") mid tower ATX case will "do". Best way is to pick a couple you like the look of, and we can advise if one is "best"
November 10, 2012 12:11:07 PM

blazorthon said:
You are reading it a little wrong. The Vapor-X is a Boost version card with a Turbo up to 925MHz and the 900MHz 7950 is a factory overclocked model. The reference 7950 clock for GPU is only 800MHz.


So then it's worth going for the 7950 Vapor-X?
November 10, 2012 12:14:49 PM

malbluff said:
Couple of points on main build.

Use i5-3570K rather than the 2500K. Better performance, lower power consumtion, more up to date, virtually same price. Your chosen mobo is also better suited to the 3570K. You don't say where you are, but if in States, and near a Microcentre, they have effectively $50 off the 3570K, at moment, making it even better deal.

If using Corsair Vengeance RAM, make sure it's a CML low profile model, to avoid a potential clash with CPU cooler.

On GPU, it's not straightforeward with the advantages of the VapourX. Good performance, possible question mark over long term reliability. Personally, I'd prefer a basic factory OC version, from MSI or Gigabyte. The XFX is also good value.

Most reasonably priced (avoid the real "cheapies") mid tower ATX case will "do". Best way is to pick a couple you like the look of, and we can advise if one is "best"



Thanks for the reply, i'll look into all this. I'm in the UK but i'm sure I can find a reasonably priced i5-3570K.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 12:15:36 PM
November 10, 2012 12:19:31 PM



This looks great, and it includes SSD and a case and still works out cheaper than what I've come up with.

Seems I still have a lot of reading up to do.

Thanks :) 
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 12:20:07 PM

Glad to help.
November 10, 2012 1:56:50 PM

Ivy bridge when goes past 4.0 GHz it becomes really hot, so i don't see any problem going along with the 2500K.

I recommend Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 EVO, they are both the same but the EVO was made to fit LGA 2011.

You can get G.Skill or Kingston RAM for similar or better performance while keeping it with low cost.

For the price of the WD Black you can get Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM, I have it on my machine and it's very sweet no problem with it.

Since you're budget allows, why not HD 7970?

Give a look at Cooler Master Storn Enforcer, got Tom's recommended award for it's best performance.

Also, a Quality 650W-750W is an option to consider if you wanted to upgrade later or do a CF/SLI.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:02:44 PM

ilysaml said:
Ivy bridge when goes past 4.0 GHz it becomes really hot, so i don't see any problem going along with the 2500K.

I recommend Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 EVO, they are both the same but the EVO was made to fit LGA 2011.

You can get G.Skill or Kingston RAM for similar or better performance while keeping it with low cost.

For the price of the WD Black you can get Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM, I have it on my machine and it's very sweet no problem with it.

Since you're budget allows, why not HD 7970?

Give a look at Cooler Master Storn Enforcer, got Tom's recommended award for it's best performance.

Also, a Quality 650W-750W is an option to consider if you wanted to upgrade later or do a CF/SLI.


The 3570K doesn't run into serious heat issues until more like over 4.3GHz or thereabouts. With these coolers, it won't be any worse than the 2500K, but it will consume less power.

The Evo isn't the same, it has a better fan than the +.
I chose that kit because it is cheaper than anything from G.Skill and Kingston. If they were cheaper, then I'd have chosen them.

Seagate 2TB versus WD CB 1TB is a personal preference/situation-dependent choice. The Black is a little faster and it's more reliable, but the Seagate is higher capacity. Personally, I went for the Caviar Black because of its better reliability and that 1TB is probably already more than enough for OP. If I'm wrong about that OP, then go for the 2TB Seagate drive. Here's a link:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/seagate-internal-hard-d...
November 10, 2012 2:32:20 PM

blazorthon said:
The 3570K doesn't run into serious heat issues until more like over 4.3GHz or thereabouts. With these coolers, it won't be any worse than the 2500K, but it will consume less power.

The Evo isn't the same, it has a better fan than the +.
I chose that kit because it is cheaper than anything from G.Skill and Kingston. If they were cheaper, then I'd have chosen them.

Seagate 2TB versus WD CB 1TB is a personal preference/situation-dependent choice. The Black is a little faster and it's more reliable, but the Seagate is higher capacity. Personally, I went for the Caviar Black because of its better reliability and that 1TB is probably already more than enough for OP. If I'm wrong about that OP, then go for the 2TB Seagate drive. Here's a link:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/seagate-internal-hard-d...

That's why I said "past" 4.0 GHz, 4.2/4.3 are save OCs but 4.6/4.8 aren't stable and require custom cooling. While the 2500k can hit 4.8 GHz with a good aftermarket CPU cooler. 3-4% performance difference between 3570K and 2500K isn't something to worry about, it's unnoticeable performance gain but thermal throttling is something to worry about.

Technically they are the same, as long as there's no major difference in cooling...they are the same..to me.

It's not cheaper, it's the same price of Kingston HyperX 1600 on Amazon, and a little cheaper on dabs.com, I also looked at newegg prices as a reference, UK is another thing.

WD Blacks are reliable, solid, and faster but a little noisier...but who's gonna care about this if it's just a storage drive?

For the power consumption thing, 20W more isn't gonna hurt the bill.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:38:38 PM

ilysaml said:
That's why I said "past" 4.0 GHz, 4.2/4.3 are save OCs but 4.6/4.8 aren't stable and require custom cooling. While the 2500k can hit 4.8 GHz with a good aftermarket CPU cooler. 3-4% performance difference between 3570K and 2500K isn't something to worry about, it's unnoticeable performance gain but thermal throttling is something to worry about.

Technically they are the same, as long as there's no major difference in cooling...they are the same..to me.

It's not cheaper, it's the same price of Kingston HyperX 1600 on Amazon, and a little cheaper on dabs.com, I also looked at newegg prices as a reference, UK is another thing.

WD Blacks are reliable, solid, and faster but a little noisier...but who's gonna care about this if it's just a storage drive?

For the power consumption thing, 20W more isn't gonna hurt the bill.


It won't get nearly hot enough for thermal throttling, lol.

You're not getting 4.8GHz on the 2500K without a pretty expensive cooler and any cooler that'll hit about 4.8GHz on the 2500K will probably hit about 4.5GHz on the 3570K. Performance would be the same and it still wouldn't have throttling issues yet.

How are they the same to you? There is a difference because of the different fan.

This is a UK build so it's UK prices that matter and in the UK, that's what is the cheapest 2x4GB DDR3-1600 kit according to pcpartpicker.

The noise is a good arguing point there. I won't argue about the hard drive because like I said, it's more situation-dependent.
November 10, 2012 2:59:34 PM

Thanks for the answers both.

I'll be overclocking to just around 4.0 GHz so the 3570K should be fine, and thanks for the suggestion of the 2TB HDD but indeed 1TB will be more than enough for me so i'll go for the WD Black based on what has been said about reliability.

I've been reading up on comparison's for the Hyper 212+ and EVO and apparently there's not much difference between the two at all so I may just get the 212+ and fit an extra fan on it as i've seen suggested.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:02:16 PM

The + with a second fan is easily better than the Evo by itself.
November 10, 2012 3:47:03 PM

blazorthon said:
It won't get nearly hot enough for thermal throttling, lol.

You're not getting 4.8GHz on the 2500K without a pretty expensive cooler and any cooler that'll hit about 4.8GHz on the 2500K will probably hit about 4.5GHz on the 3570K. Performance would be the same and it still wouldn't have throttling issues yet.

How are they the same to you? There is a difference because of the different fan.

That's your own assumption, not the fact that;
Quote:
As we proceeded in our overclocking efforts, regardless of whether we used a higher core voltage or not, we observed something frustrating: even below 4.5 GHz, our Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K began thermal throttling.

Quote:
Core Temp 1.0 RC3 reports that our Core i7-3770K reaches 90-100°C (194-212°F) internally when it's overclocked to 4.5 GHz. No wonder the chip's thermal monitor tripped, throttling the CPU

Quote:
Our 32 nm Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K also got quite hot on the same test rig. However, each core stayed well below 90°C (194°F). As a result, the system maintained its overclocked frequency of almost 4.8 GHz.

Quote:
Intel's Sandy Bridge-based K-series models easily achieved 4.3 to 4.6 GHz using air coolers, sometimes scaling even higher. Thus, our expectation for Ivy Bridge (along with many other enthusiasts, we'd say), was closer to 5 GHz.However, we failed to achieve that goal

Lots of users here achieved 4.8 with the 212+ and on HardOCP forums archived 5.1 GHz with 2500K and Hyper 212+, the majority never stated an issue going up to 4.6 with the 212+

Different fan? This is ridiculous. Go to the website and see the specs yourself, they are almost identical...any difference in airflow didn't give a serious impact on performance, making each review say it's the same with the exception of the EVO being introduced to fit the new LGA 2011 Socket, there's no argument here until you come with a test or review showing a real difference between the two.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:54:25 PM

ilysaml said:
That's your own assumption, not the fact that;
Quote:
As we proceeded in our overclocking efforts, regardless of whether we used a higher core voltage or not, we observed something frustrating: even below 4.5 GHz, our Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K began thermal throttling.

Quote:
Core Temp 1.0 RC3 reports that our Core i7-3770K reaches 90-100°C (194-212°F) internally when it's overclocked to 4.5 GHz. No wonder the chip's thermal monitor tripped, throttling the CPU

Quote:
Our 32 nm Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K also got quite hot on the same test rig. However, each core stayed well below 90°C (194°F). As a result, the system maintained its overclocked frequency of almost 4.8 GHz.

Quote:
Intel's Sandy Bridge-based K-series models easily achieved 4.3 to 4.6 GHz using air coolers, sometimes scaling even higher. Thus, our expectation for Ivy Bridge (along with many other enthusiasts, we'd say), was closer to 5 GHz.However, we failed to achieve that goal

Lots of users here achieved 4.8 with the 212+ and on HardOCP forums archived 5.1 GHz with 2500K and Hyper 212+, the majority never stated an issue going up to 4.6 with the 212+

Different fan? This is ridiculous. Go to the website and see the specs yourself, they are almost identical...any difference in airflow didn't give a serious impact on performance, making each review say it's the same with the exception of the EVO being introduced to fit the new LGA 2011 Socket, there's no argument here until you come with a test or review showing a real difference between the two.


Those numbers don't disprove me. I said about 4.5GHz on Ivy to about 4.8GHz on Sandy. Just short of 4.8GHz on Sandy and say 4.4GHz on Ivy are right where I said it at because about doesn't mean exactly.

ALMOST identical you say for the fan. Thanks for proving me right. It's a different fan and that's that. As someone who has owned both coolers, I can attest to it being quieter and having slightly higher maximum cooling just as I claimed.

Also:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-overcloc...
November 10, 2012 4:18:44 PM

You enjoy arguing for nothing, discussion is over.
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 5:53:19 PM

blazorthon said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/nah8

CPU Intel i5-3570K http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570...
CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS10X OPTIMA http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/zalman-cpu-cooler-cnps1...
Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme4 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/asrock-motherboard-z77e...
Memory Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3-1600 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/corsair-memory-cml8gx3m...
Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB WD1002FAEX http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/western-digital-interna...
Samsung 830 128GB http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/samsung-internal-hard-d...
Video Card Asus Radeon 7950 3GB HD7950-DC2T-3GD5 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/asus-video-card-hd7950d...
Case Zalman Z9 Plus http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/zalman-case-z9plus
Power Supply XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze P1-550S-XXB9 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550s...
Optical Drive Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/samsung-optical-drive-s...

Total: £814.09


+1, although I'd be inclined to use the 212Evo cooler.

On this 3570K vs 2500K thing. I agree the 2500K is only slightly weaker, only uses slightly more power, only has slightly less features, only supports slightly slower RAM, and is similar price. There's nothing wrong with 2500K, but why would you CHOOSE to use it. Sure, if you use a different mobo (I wouldn't recommend using it on an ASRock z77 E4), you can say you've overclocked to 4.8GHz, but then power difference is significant. I wouldn't suggest upgrading from 2500K, to 3570K, there isn't much gain, but I also wouldn't suggest 2500K, for a new build, unless you're getting it for 10%+ less, and don't mind a small performance loss, for the saving.
!