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Want opinion on my first build plan

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November 11, 2012 1:55:40 AM

I already have a general idea of the parts I want to use for this build:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nffA
(based on this build: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overcloc...)

My main questions are:

Is the CPU good enough? This computer only needs to be good enough to play bf3 at near max settings.
I was considering the amd 8 cores, but the i5 3570k seems to be considered the standard for this type of build.

I was stuck on the GPU until I read the enthusiast build article above and saw the benchmarks for bf3 ultra, so I'm pretty sure I will get a 670. Most likely the evga 670 ftw, but I'm wondering whether one fan is enough.

Speaking of fans, will the build I set up on pcpartpicker be too loud? Combining the gpu (1 to 3, depending on which I pick), the cpu cooler (1) and what appears to be 3 case fans for the HAF 922, that's up to 6 fans! How loud could that get, and would a sound-dampened case be necessary? (sidenote: is the 550W psu enough?)

If the benchmark in the article mentioned above shows 670 can get past 75 fps on ultra 1980x1080, do I need to get a monitor with more than 60 hz refresh? I've heard that a 60 hz monitor limits fps to 60. Would a fps of 75 be a noticable improvement, or would it cause screen tearing? The monitor in the pcpartspicker build above has a horizontal refresh of 30~83 KHz, and a vertical refresh of 50~75 Hz. What is the difference between vertical and horizontal refresh? If vertical refresh is more important, would a 50~75 Hz rate mean it can be set permanently at 75, or does it vary? Should I skip this monitor and get a 120hz, or would this monitor be good enough, since the 670 can only get 75 fps.

Should I get a smaller hdd and get a ssd for os and programs? If I did, would I be able to install some programs on the ssd, and some on the hdd?

I need wifi for this build (wired would be better, but for now I need wifi), and I'm wondering whether there is any difference between a thumb-drive adapter or a pci-e adapter. If I got a wifi card, would the antenna/s get in the way of the video card?

Thanks in advance for reading this

More about : opinion build plan

November 11, 2012 3:27:18 AM

Hey I just put together a similar build, 15 3570k with the evga 670 ftw. I've only had it a day but it's been able to handle everything I've thrown at it. I also got a wifi card and it doesn't interfere with the video card at all. Also you should definitely get a ssd if you can afford it, my pc boots up in like 5 seconds and loading screens on skyrim only last a second or less.
November 11, 2012 11:41:50 AM

Thanks for responding so fast!

So I think I'm going to stick with that cpu and gpu, but I still have a few questions left.

So if I get a ssd, should it be at least 120 Gb, to hold windows + bf3 and other programs?
Or should I get a smaller drive and only put the os on it?

I'm also still wondering about the monitor refresh rates and the noise levels of the parts.


Related resources
November 11, 2012 5:31:33 PM

I updated the build plan to include a 120 Gb ssd:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/njUi

How much space would windows 8(should get 7 instead?) take up on the ssd?

Also, If I were to sli another 670 in the future, would I need to get a bigger psu now, or would it make more sense to get a smaller psu now and wait until I decide to do sli or not?

November 11, 2012 5:47:40 PM

timelord989 said:
I updated the build plan to include a 120 Gb ssd:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/njUi

How much space would windows 8(should get 7 instead?) take up on the ssd?

Also, If I were to sli another 670 in the future, would I need to get a bigger psu now, or would it make more sense to get a smaller psu now and wait until I decide to do sli or not?


That build looks good but ditch that PSU and get this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Anyone who says you should skimp on the PSU on a build like this - those people are bad and they should feel bad. I wouldn't trust a PSU that spells "basic" with a q. The rest of that build looks really good. Alternately for your SSD consider the Samsung 830 or Plextor PX-M3.

Windows 8 - on a formatted SSD - will take about 16GB - 20GB depending on the options you install. Also you have to keep in mind that formatting takes about 10% of your drives' space.
November 11, 2012 6:47:02 PM

Here's the build with that psu added:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nkqH

It is okay to have way more wattage than what the parts need, right?
In the build above without sli, it's 361W estimated to 750W possible.
However, with sli, that would be 531W estimated. I agree about the "basiq" psu probably being a bad idea, but would it be better to get a great 550W psu if I'm not likely to do more than 2 sli?

That 750W psu's newegg page says "PCI-Express Connector
2 x 6-Pin, 2 x 6+2-Pin". Does that mean there are one or two connectors? The page says the psu is xfire and sli ready. I don't know whether 2 cards in sli would need multiple power cords or if they would connect to each other.

If I just have 2 harddrives and 1 or 2 gpus, should I get a modular psu over a non modular psu?
I read that modular psus allow you to take out the extra cables.

I did some more research (benchmarks:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/05/10/nvidia-gefo...
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2012/11/05/ms...

card comparison: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|14-125-413^14-125-413-TS%2C14-130-787^icn_ironegg_overlay_125x94%23%2C14-500-267^14-500-267-TS%2C14-162-109^14-162-109-TS
)

and I'm pretty sure I'm going with the evga 670 ftw. Is the card noisy?

November 11, 2012 11:16:11 PM

Quote:
It is okay to have way more wattage than what the parts need, right?
In the build above without sli, it's 361W estimated to 750W possible.
However, with sli, that would be 531W estimated. I agree about the "basiq" psu probably being a bad idea, but would it be better to get a great 550W psu if I'm not likely to do more than 2 sli?


Yes. The extra wattage allows you to add a second video card later on. If you get a 550 or 650W PSU make sure it's a solid one - get something from Seasonic or Corsair, or PC Power & Cooling.

Quote:
That 750W psu's newegg page says "PCI-Express Connector
2 x 6-Pin, 2 x 6+2-Pin". Does that mean there are one or two connectors? The page says the psu is xfire and sli ready. I don't know whether 2 cards in sli would need multiple power cords or if they would connect to each other.


That actually means there's four connectors. Two cards in SLI would indeed need more cables.

Quote:
If I just have 2 harddrives and 1 or 2 gpus, should I get a modular psu over a non modular psu?
I read that modular psus allow you to take out the extra cables.


That doesn't really matter - you can use either / or. I personally am in the minority when I prefer semi modular or non modular PSUs. I've some modular PSUs that have caused nothing but problems.
November 12, 2012 2:16:05 AM

If I were to do 2 card sli, would I need a different psu with more than 4 connectors? (does each card use 4?)
Also, the motherboard's page says "PCI Express 3.0 x16 : 2 (x16/0 or x8/x8)"
There are 2 slots, but would there be enough space for 2 cards in the future? (does the x16/0 mean there is only room for one x16 card?)

How much extra wattage should I get in addition to estimated wattage? (if the whole build + 2 card sli = 531 W, should I then get 550W or 650W psu?)
November 12, 2012 5:35:28 AM

timelord989 said:
If I were to do 2 card sli, would I need a different psu with more than 4 connectors? (does each card use 4?)
Also, the motherboard's page says "PCI Express 3.0 x16 : 2 (x16/0 or x8/x8)"
There are 2 slots, but would there be enough space for 2 cards in the future? (does the x16/0 mean there is only room for one x16 card?)

How much extra wattage should I get in addition to estimated wattage? (if the whole build + 2 card sli = 531 W, should I then get 550W or 650W psu?)


1. No - you'll use exactly four connectors - two for the first card and two for the second.

2. Yes - that motherboard has the slots and speeds required to run SLI / Crossfire.

3. That's entirely up to you - if you plan on adding a second card in the future, you'll want a higher wattage PSU. The trend among GPU manufacturers now is lower energy requirements but that still doesn't mean that more cards will use less energy. If you want to use a second you'll need it. If you don't then you won't.
November 13, 2012 1:53:15 AM

timelord989 said:

If the benchmark in the article mentioned above shows 670 can get past 75 fps on ultra 1980x1080, do I need to get a monitor with more than 60 hz refresh? I've heard that a 60 hz monitor limits fps to 60. Would a fps of 75 be a noticable improvement, or would it cause screen tearing? The monitor in the pcpartspicker build above has a horizontal refresh of 30~83 KHz, and a vertical refresh of 50~75 Hz. What is the difference between vertical and horizontal refresh? If vertical refresh is more important, would a 50~75 Hz rate mean it can be set permanently at 75, or does it vary? Should I skip this monitor and get a 120hz, or would this monitor be good enough, since the 670 can only get 75 fps.


So what is the difference between horizontal and vertical refresh rate, and will a vertical refresh of 50~75 Hz allow up to 75 fps to be displayed?

November 14, 2012 1:22:27 AM

Also, If I install bf3 on a ssd, will the constant rewriting of files shorten the lifespan of the drive? I remember when I was trying to get tf2 to perform better on a laptop one tip I found was to disable resident shield (avg) on a certain game file that was constantly being changed. I'm guessing that changes to small files won't do much , but do I need to worry about installing/uninstalling multiple programs on a ssd?

Is Nvidia likely to release a better driver similar to ati's recent 12.11 driver?
If not, should I pick the 7970 (non ghz edition) over the 670?
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...

Finally, the i5 3570k and the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 mobo are fine for bf3 multiplayer, right?
November 14, 2012 4:58:35 AM

Quote:
Also, If I install bf3 on a ssd, will the constant rewriting of files shorten the lifespan of the drive? I remember when I was trying to get tf2 to perform better on a laptop one tip I found was to disable resident shield (avg) on a certain game file that was constantly being changed. I'm guessing that changes to small files won't do much , but do I need to worry about installing/uninstalling multiple programs on a ssd?


That's kind of what the mass storage is for. Yeah you could install BF3 on your SSD but at 25GB it would not only take up a massive chunk of hard drive space but it would also use far more read / write cycles than anything else.

Quote:
Is Nvidia likely to release a better driver similar to ati's recent 12.11 driver?


Good question - that's not something anyone really knows the answer to.

Quote:
Finally, the i5 3570k and the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 mobo are fine for bf3 multiplayer, right?


Definitely. I use the Gigabyte UD3H which is a pretty comparable board to the Extreme 4. But games are more handled by your GPU than anything else.
November 15, 2012 12:48:03 AM

Does a ssd improve performance as well as speeding boot and load times? I can live with longer loads as long as they are under 1-2 min. But if a ssd would increase performance as well, then I would be more likely to get one.
How much of a concern is the limited number of writes on ssd issue anyway? I think I read somewhere that one would have to be read/writing many Gb a day for several years to risk breaking a ssd. Installation of a game like bf3 would only happen once (plus updates), but what about things like loading youtube videos? Those can be very big, depending on length and quality of the video. Would there be a way to set temporary data like that and swap space onto the spinning hd?

I looked at the gigabyte mobo and found that it is very similar to the asrock mobo, except it supports mSATA and the asrock doesn't. Does that mean a ssd would not work with the asrock mobo?

About the catalyst 12.11 driver: should I let that influence my choice of gpu?
Before that update, most of the benchmarks I looked at for 1920x1080 bf3 ultra showed that the nvidia 670 beat the radeon 7970 (non ghz). I only found one benchmark for those settings created after the driver update, so should I change my plans to reflect that, or wait for more benchmarks or a nvidia driver?

I guess the real question is whether the new ati driver's performance is worth $50 more ($400 for 7970 non ghz, I found evga ftw 670 for 350 w/rebate)

I found a build similar to this one on craiglist: http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/sys/3370368415.html
not including the monitor I put in the pcparts build above, the prices are similar. The case and cpu in the craig build are better, but there is no guarantee on the condition of the parts (even though post says built new for sale). Also, I wouldn't get to build it my self except for plugging in gpu. Still, is this a better deal than my pcpartpicker plan? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nkqH

The hacking of EA Origin is not a reason to avoid buying BF3, right? (http://lifehacker.com/5960676/ea-origin-hacked-time-to-...)

I am also still wondering about the refresh rates question I had earlier in this thread.

Thanks for helping out so much with these questions!
November 16, 2012 2:16:36 AM

timelord989 said:
Does a ssd improve performance as well as speeding boot and load times? I can live with longer loads as long as they are under 1-2 min. But if a ssd would increase performance as well, then I would be more likely to get one.
How much of a concern is the limited number of writes on ssd issue anyway? I think I read somewhere that one would have to be read/writing many Gb a day for several years to risk breaking a ssd. Installation of a game like bf3 would only happen once (plus updates), but what about things like loading youtube videos? Those can be very big, depending on length and quality of the video. Would there be a way to set temporary data like that and swap space onto the spinning hd?

I looked at the gigabyte mobo and found that it is very similar to the asrock mobo, except it supports mSATA and the asrock doesn't. Does that mean a ssd would not work with the asrock mobo?

About the catalyst 12.11 driver: should I let that influence my choice of gpu?
Before that update, most of the benchmarks I looked at for 1920x1080 bf3 ultra showed that the nvidia 670 beat the radeon 7970 (non ghz). I only found one benchmark for those settings created after the driver update, so should I change my plans to reflect that, or wait for more benchmarks or a nvidia driver?

I guess the real question is whether the new ati driver's performance is worth $50 more ($400 for 7970 non ghz, I found evga ftw 670 for 350 w/rebate)

I found a build similar to this one on craiglist: http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/sys/3370368415.html
not including the monitor I put in the pcparts build above, the prices are similar. The case and cpu in the craig build are better, but there is no guarantee on the condition of the parts (even though post says built new for sale). Also, I wouldn't get to build it my self except for plugging in gpu. Still, is this a better deal than my pcpartpicker plan? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nkqH

The hacking of EA Origin is not a reason to avoid buying BF3, right? (http://lifehacker.com/5960676/ea-origin-hacked-time-to-...)

I am also still wondering about the refresh rates question I had earlier in this thread.

Thanks for helping out so much with these questions!


If I post a new question on this thread, but the thread gets buried under several pages of new threads, should I repost the last post to bring it to the top of the list, or just wait longer than a day? Thanks
!