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First Build, Sub-$1000 - Could use some advice

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November 10, 2012 8:19:14 PM

This is my first build and I'm going to buy everything in around two weeks when thanksgiving break hits. My build is a little under $1000 and I'm willing to pay that, but still I'm trying to shave off a few dollars and would like some feedback where I could possibly do it. Currently I have an old laptop that I usually use to store all my files (music, video, documents,e-books ~ all around 300GB) and I have the Microsoft Surface I use for everything else. I plan to use this new PC pretty much for gaming and would like it to be up-gradable. I want to start playing games like Skyrim, XCom, Witcher, maybe Crysis. I do plan to plan many FPS such as Battlefield and COD on Xbox/PS3 because I like playing with friends on console. Here's the build:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Crucial V4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($231.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Gunmetal/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer S220HQLAbd 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $995.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-10 16:44 EST-0500)

A few Things to note:

I plan to use windows 8, which i already have. Also I have a mouse and keyboard.

I live by a Microcenter.

I plan to bundle my CPU and mobo together at Microcenter so the mobo will end up costing $95, pcpartpicker doesn't show microcenter's bundle deals.

Questions:

1. Is 650W PSU enough if i ever want to Crossfire/SLI?

2. Is the 7870 Ghz edition at $10 more a better choice than the Geforce 660 superclocked edition?


Please leave suggestions as I'm pretty new at this, thanks.

More about : build 1000 advice

November 10, 2012 8:40:39 PM

1) That particular PSU only has two 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors. The 7870 you linked will use both of them (it needs 2 six pins). Step it up to a quality 750w and you should get the connectors and the power you'll need for 2 powerful GPUs.

2) Based on my linked review, the 7870 and the 660 trade some blows. Ocing the 660 helps a lot though. This review that might help you decide: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...

Also get DDR3-1600 RAM. 1.5v or less with decently low latency (like 9-9-9-24). Ivy CPUs like 1600mhz ram.
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November 10, 2012 8:42:36 PM

larkspur said:
1) That particular PSU only has two 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors. The 7870 you linked will use both of them (it needs 2 six pins). Step it up to a quality 750w and you should get the connectors and the power you'll need for 2 powerful GPUs.

2) Based on my linked review, the 7870 and the 660 trade some blows. Ocing the 660 helps a lot though. This review that might help you decide: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...

Also get DDR3-1600 RAM. 1.5v or less with decently low latency (like 9-9-9-24). Ivy CPUs like 1600mhz ram.


Your link is outdated. The 7870 currently trades blows more with the 660 Ti than with the 660. 7870 is also better at overclocking than the 660 is anyway.
November 10, 2012 8:49:10 PM

blazorthon said:
Your link is outdated. The 7870 currently trades blows more with the 660 Ti than with the 660. 7870 is also better at overclocking than the 660 is anyway.

Haha, I'm not used to being corrected by you Blazor, without a nice, helpful link illustrating your point, especially when Don's less than 2 months old article is now outdated. Are you talking about Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers? Can you oblige me with a link pretty please? :love: 
November 10, 2012 8:51:34 PM

blazorthon said:
You did a very good job on that build.

Yes, the 7870 is worth more than the 660, but even better is the Gigabyte 7870 OC that has another 10% performance advantage over the XFX 7870 that you chose and for less than another $10 more.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr787...

I'd also recommend getting a better SSD such as this Samsung 830:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...


thanks for the tips, didn't even realize this ssd wasn't as good as other in its size/price range.

Also, I'll switch the RAM for this http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls2kit4g3d... - DDR3-1600, $40 w/ 10$ rebate
November 10, 2012 8:56:51 PM

larkspur said:
Haha, I'm not used to being corrected by you Blazor, without a nice, helpful link illustrating your point, especially when Don's less than 2 months old article is now outdated. Are you talking about Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers? Can you oblige me with a link pretty please? :love: 


Sorry, direct links are hard to come by for 78xx cards (especially since there are like six versions of Catalyst 12.11 beta, some of which have great improvements over even only a few days older versions), but I'll see what I can find.

AMD has really been cranking their drivers these last two or three weeks :D 
November 10, 2012 9:00:33 PM

HyperX 3k is probably one of the best SSD's on the market atm in my opinion. Also, the 7870 is better than the 660. Not even an AMD fanboy, I like Intel a little better, but right now the 7870 is crazy fast for the money. You can max out BF3 with one I'm pretty sure. Just get the normal old Gigabyte 7870 and You'll be super happy with it :) 
-Greed
EDIT: A corsair 750w would be more than enough for 2 7870's. 700 is a weird wattage, there's like 2 of them on newegg and they're overpriced. I'll edit this with a link to one in a moment.
EDIT2: Here's a link to a more than amazing PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!