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$1500 Build Spec Advice

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November 12, 2012 3:39:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few weeks
Budget Range: $1500 (£950) MAX

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet (Lots and lots of tabs!), PhotoShop (editing pictures), watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Do you need to buy OS: No (Will put Win 8 on)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebuyer, aria
Location: City, State/Region, Country - England, UK
Parts Preferences: Preferably Intel
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: I don't have this yet, but think I will buy: Samsung S24b300hl LED LCD 23.6" 1920 X 1080 Full Hd (£120/$190)

Additional Comments: So these are the parts that I've identified so far. I was considering the i7 3770k but I'm not convinced that the extra £75/$120 is worth it for me as I will never do video editing etc. Main consideration here is will the PSU suffice? I've used the thermaltake PSU calculator and it seems okay, but I want to be sure!

Anyway, what do you guys think, any changes/recommendations, e.g. Graphics card? (HD 7770 or others)

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H Socket 1155 VGA DVI HDMI 7.1 Channel Audio ATX
PSU - Corsair CX 750W PSU
CPU -Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache
CPU Cooler - Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 Socket
RAM - Corsair Vengeance Performance Memory modules 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 2133MHz
GFX Card - Gigabyte GTX 650 1GB GDDR5
Case - CM Storm Enforcer Case (?)
HDD SS - OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD
HDD WD - 2TB Green Desktop Drive
Wireless - TP-Link PCI Network Adapter


And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I run everything on my laptop but that's nearly 5 years old now. I built a PC probably around 7 years ago but that had countless problems, I think related to a weak power supply so I gave up on that a long time ago.

More about : 1500 build spec advice

November 12, 2012 4:03:56 PM

Hi.
Unles your pictures in PS are 39 MB, you don't need 16 GB ram. 8GB will do just fine, considering that most games even today need only 4GB.
For CPU cooler go for hyper evo 212 as it's cheaper and people recommend it very often here.
With this cpu and mobo you can go for this gpu Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 GV-N670OC-2GD
Other than that you look all set.

Edit
Except 750w psu i'm not sure why you need so much. It's not like you gonna be running sli/xfire. Here's the link to build thats similar to yours. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/build-a-pc-overclock-benc... Scroll down a bit and you will see full specs, also suggested ram that will work for you and 600w psu.
November 12, 2012 4:06:46 PM

^ Go with the cm hyper 212 plus, it's $5 cheaper and the evo doesnt show any temperature differences.
Related resources
November 12, 2012 5:31:13 PM

Cut costs on psu and ram. A 500w is fine, 8gb is more than enough, and a cheaper IB i5 without an aftermarket cooler would be enough. Then you could easily get a 7950 or 670. I highly advise doing this...
November 12, 2012 5:39:39 PM

CaptainTom said:
Cut costs on psu and ram. A 500w is fine, 8gb is more than enough, and a cheaper IB i5 without an aftermarket cooler would be enough. Then you could easily get a 7950 or 670. I highly advise doing this...


I definitely *DO NOT* advise against cutting costs on the power supply. Getting the wrong one could have catastrophic effects on your system - like having the PSU blow up on you or short out and take components with it type of thing. It's possible to get a good system with a solid power supply if you move things around.

I do agree that the RAM is overkill, and the original cooler chosen is crap and not better than the stock fan.

For that kind of budget I'd suggest a system like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£166.16 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£26.30 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£104.12 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.28 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (£311.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.90 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£70.45 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £946.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 19:38 GMT+0000)
November 12, 2012 5:54:40 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I definitely *DO NOT* advise against cutting costs on the power supply. Getting the wrong one could have catastrophic effects on your system - like having the PSU blow up on you or short out and take components with it type of thing. It's possible to get a good system with a solid power supply if you move things around.

I do agree that the RAM is overkill, and the original cooler chosen is crap and not better than the stock fan.

For that kind of budget I'd suggest a system like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£166.16 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£26.30 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£104.12 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.28 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (£311.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.90 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£70.45 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £946.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 19:38 GMT+0000)


Brandon S said:
^ ^ Definately go with what G-unit1111 suggested ^ ^


+1111111!!! wise words from all
November 12, 2012 7:31:06 PM

Thanks for all your replies! I will definitely go with what was said about the RAM and the CPU Cooler.

One question though about the graphics cards recommendations - I've always thought that once you go beyond say £100/$160 on a card you pay A LOT more for not much improvement. As in, a £100/$160 card will play most things on high graphics. Similar story to the RAM I guess (except that RAM is a lot cheaper), paying an extra £200 is surely just overkill no?

Also, just to say, I am not a hardcore gamer or anything - I don't play anything at the moment really (Uni), and in the past it's games like Starcraft/Diablo III etc. Not really into FPS so I won't be playing Battlefield etc...does that influence your suggestions on graphics cards? Although, having a super PC will mean I CAN.. e.g. perhaps buy games on PC instead of Xbox (Skyrim/Assassins Creed).
November 12, 2012 7:40:59 PM

Quote:
One question though about the graphics cards recommendations - I've always thought that once you go beyond say £100/$160 on a card you pay A LOT more for not much improvement. As in, a £100/$160 card will play most things on high graphics. Similar story to the RAM I guess (except that RAM is a lot cheaper), paying an extra £200 is surely just overkill no?


That's... half true. If you're comparing a card like the 7950 to the 7770, there's a huge improvement in performance. Now on the flip side if you're comparing something like the GTX 670 and GTX 680 which use exact same graphics processor and the GTX 670 is £100 cheaper, then you can make that comparison. But for gaming I'd say the sweet spot for GPUs is around £250.

Quote:
Also, just to say, I am not a hardcore gamer or anything - I don't play anything at the moment really (Uni), and in the past it's games like Starcraft/Diablo III etc. Not really into FPS so I won't be playing Battlefield etc...does that influence your suggestions on graphics cards? Although, having a super PC will mean I CAN.. e.g. perhaps buy games on PC instead of Xbox (Skyrim/Assassins Creed).


You could probably get away with a 7850 or 7870 but I wouldn't go lower than that. With the difference you could add a nice SSD to that build I suggested.
November 12, 2012 8:42:22 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I definitely *DO NOT* advise against cutting costs on the power supply. Getting the wrong one could have catastrophic effects on your system - like having the PSU blow up on you or short out and take components with it type of thing. It's possible to get a good system with a solid power supply if you move things around.

I do agree that the RAM is overkill, and the original cooler chosen is crap and not better than the stock fan.

For that kind of budget I'd suggest a system like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£166.16 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£26.30 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£104.12 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.28 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (£311.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.90 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£70.45 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £946.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 19:38 GMT+0000)



Um why? He is using one GPU. Why would he need more than an 80+ 500w? LOL I said cut costs, not get a shi%ty one! Your loss OP. That PSU is crazy overkill.
November 12, 2012 8:58:05 PM

CaptainTom said:
Um why? He is using one GPU. Why would he need more than an 80+ 500w? LOL I said cut costs, not get a shi%ty one! Your loss OP. That PSU is crazy overkill.


It gives you room to add a second GPU later on. And that PSU is good, I have the same one in my system.
November 13, 2012 3:31:34 AM

g-unit1111 said:
It gives you room to add a second GPU later on. And that PSU is good, I have the same one in my system.


Well I didnt know he wanted CF lol.
November 13, 2012 4:08:49 AM

CaptainTom said:
Well I didnt know he wanted CF lol.


On that kind of budget you don't want to forfeit that option.
November 13, 2012 5:28:38 AM

g-unit1111 said:
On that kind of budget you don't want to forfeit that option.


Well it is using pounds though. Thus I don't know how much that is. From what I hear a 1600 pound budget is close to an $800 budget. That's after exchange rates AND the cost of import and other things that jack up prices in England.
November 13, 2012 7:26:08 AM

CaptainTom said:
Well it is using pounds though. Thus I don't know how much that is. From what I hear a 1600 pound budget is close to an $800 budget. That's after exchange rates AND the cost of import and other things that jack up prices in England.


What? No.

Current exchange rate is 1.5873 (GBP to USD).

So £1,000 = $1,587

Oh. And OP take g-unit1111's advice. I have a 6950 2GB and that runs pretty much all current games full spec 60 fps. If I built my system again I would be getting a 660ti or a 670.
November 13, 2012 2:22:32 PM

So seeing what people seem to think I think I'll go for a compromise.... I don't think I can justify getting a £300/$480 one, as I just don't play the games that require that (Some of them can be on Xbox anyway!), but the general census seems to be that it's worth spending extra money to get a decent one though...so I guess it's down to 7870 /660 Ti ?

Make sense? Going on that basis too....do people still recommend the ASRock mobo and a 750W (future proofing) ?

Thanks!
November 13, 2012 2:46:42 PM

basilikus said:
So seeing what people seem to think I think I'll go for a compromise.... I don't think I can justify getting a £300/$480 one, as I just don't play the games that require that (Some of them can be on Xbox anyway!), but the general census seems to be that it's worth spending extra money to get a decent one though...so I guess it's down to 7870 /660 Ti ?

Make sense? Going on that basis too....do people still recommend the ASRock mobo and a 750W (future proofing) ?

Thanks!


It's really up to you. I am crossfiring two 6950's on one 600w so either way your PSU is overkill in my opinion. A 650w or 700w would be a better fit if you are staying with the 7870 area. Also it is up to you with the mobo. Look at it this way: if getting an SLI motherboard and 750w PSU is forcing you to get a 7870 instead of a 7970, then it would be better to go non-CF/SLI and get a 7970. I like CF and I use it, but given the choice I would pick the strongest card on the market now instead of hoping for prices to fall on a second card to minimize my losses. Plus CF/SLI can be a bitch. I know because I have used both.
November 13, 2012 3:15:22 PM

Nothing is stopping me getting a 7970 except myself - I can't justify spending that amount of money on a card when I don't play games that are super intensive really! Will continue to have a think about which to get!
November 13, 2012 3:46:30 PM

Thomas Creel said:
^ Go with the cm hyper 212 plus, it's $5 cheaper and the evo doesnt show any temperature differences.


there is a difference in Ivy bridge hyper 212 plus vs evo. evo does better because it doesnt have the grooves and is direct contact unlike hyper 212 plus

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£160.10 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.00 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£96.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£71.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (£340.55 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£94.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £982.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-13 17:41 GMT+0000)

leaves room with stuff you want to upgrade. if gaming is highest priority then you dont want to skimp out on the GPU. i put a Sandisk extreme instead of a samsung 830 because it is cheaper with not that much more difference from each other.

if video editing and photoshop a hobby then 8GB of ram will do but, if you do a lot of it/professional tier work then get an i7 3770k and 16GB of ram
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/corsair-memory-cml16gx3...
November 13, 2012 3:50:56 PM

Sorry read some more post as it was being updated and i will revamp my build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£160.10 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.00 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£96.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£71.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£172.90 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £799.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-13 17:52 GMT+0000)

at this point, if you are still willing to spend $1500, you can pretty much get away with doing SSDs only. it doesnt seem like you will be using a lot of space if you are not going to be playing the latest and greatest so going with 1 256GB SSD and adding another one later if it gets full is an option for you. For SSD i recommend these

Samsung 830 256GB - great price point
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/samsung-internal-hard-d...

Sandisk extreme 480GB - lots of space and great performance like samsung 830(a bit pricier since it is a 480GB)
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/sandisk-internal-hard-d...

November 13, 2012 5:36:08 PM

boulbox said:
there is a difference in Ivy bridge hyper 212 plus vs evo. evo does better because it doesnt have the grooves and is direct contact unlike hyper 212 plus

The direct contact grooves is just speculation and hasnt shown any real numbers.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/332941-28-cooler-mast...
November 13, 2012 10:01:00 PM

Thomas Creel said:
The direct contact grooves is just speculation and hasnt shown any real numbers.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/332941-28-cooler-mast...


1) the link you posted has no point

2) that is a i5 2500k which can OC higher and is Cooler than an i5 3570k which uses a lot of heat because it is small

3) since it is so small having a direct contact provides it better cooling overall since it is more spread out unlike the hyper 212 plus
November 14, 2012 2:09:39 AM

Take it with a grain of salt but I won't be buying the Evo until it proves itself worth the $5.
November 14, 2012 3:21:55 AM

Thomas Creel said:
Take it with a grain of salt but I won't be buying the Evo until it proves itself worth the $5.


its only worth the $5 extra if you are going Ivy. for a i5 2500k its pretty much not worth it
!