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~$700 Rebuild - GPU, MB, Processor

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November 10, 2012 6:04:52 PM

First post, so forgive me my transgressions...

General Info:

Approximate Purchase Date: This month or soon-ish (will be watching newegg et al for sales)

Budget Range: ~$700 after rebates (total build budget ~$1000, keeping a bit in the bank for SSD, etc)

Preferred Website for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Indianapolis, US

My Experience: First solo build, but I built my current system with assistance from a hobbyist roommate several years ago and I've made a couple simple upgrades on my own. I don't know much, but I know to know where to look if I need help.

Reason for Upgrade: Parts are getting old and tired, especially GPU. Time for a refresh.

Usage Details:

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (eg Steam games, Elder Scrolls, Dawn of War, Civ), Internet/Office, Some photo work. Would like capability for adding work software down the road (Matlab mainly)

Overclocking: Never done it before, but probably some minor OC if I can figure it out

SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment, but possible down the road

Additional Details: Preference towards cool and quiet, but no deal breakers. Price/reliability/performance more important.

The Build:

Recycling
OS - Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
Monitor - Acer X193W+BD
Case - COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
PSU - Corsair GS-700
HD - 500 GB Seagate Barracuda
Peripherals - Nothing special, standard keyboard and mouse (1 USB each) plus a printer (USB)

Also have a second PSU available, an OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W that I could use instead of the Corsair listed above.

I'm also bringing over three chassis fans, plus the processor fan, and have a slot fan that may or may not be needed.

Replacing
GPU - EVGA GeForce 8800GT
MB - ASUS M4A78 Plus
Processor - AMD Athlon II X4
RAM - Curcial Ballistix 4GB (2x2)

Proposed Upgrades
GPU - XFX Double D Radeon HD 7870
MB - Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
Processor - i5-3570K Ivy Bridge
RAM - Corsair Vengence 8GB (2x4) (EDIT: Dropped from 16GB per suggestion)

Cost So Far: $660 after rebates (as of 11/10)

I've stressed out the most about the MB pick, so if you only give advice on one thing, make it that.

Mainly, do you see any problems with this build? Is there anything you would suggest be swapped out for something better/cheaper? My budget is flexible if there's a compelling reason to bump it up a little for big gains otherwise.

Also, which PSU should I go with between the two I have available? (Or should it go on the "To be upgraded" list?)
November 10, 2012 6:20:17 PM

All Z77 based motherboards will perform identically . Buy one with the features you want . Usually you cant go wrong with Asus , Gigabyte or Asrock

No game needs even 8 gig or RAM , and no program needs 8 gig of RAM either unless its a 64 bit program . I would fit 2 x4 gig for now

The Gigabyte graphics cards with the windforce cooler are the best available IMO . Quieter , and much cooler
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November 10, 2012 6:34:21 PM

Thanks for the MB reassurance and RAM reality check, Outlander.

Just to confirm, you mean something like this?

Gigabyte HD 7870
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