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New Build. Wait for Black Friday? Worth it?

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November 13, 2012 2:13:23 AM

Hello my dear Tom's Hardware enthusiasts!

This is my first build ever. I am worried about not being very efficient when it comes to value for money. Be it the PSU or the Motherboard. I feel I'm happy with my other selections but do hope that you guys give me your input regardless.

My Budget is around 1500$, I will be using this computer strictly for gaming (Crysis 3, BF3, Black Ops 2, Shogun 2 Total War, Rome 2: Total War, Borderlands 2...you know..) As well as some movie watching and internet surfing. No photo editing or processing or any of that fancy stuff that most of you do.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core $215.99
CPU Cooler:Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing $24.99
Motherboard:Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155 Combo or $269.99
Memory:G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 $49.99
Storage:Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM $143.99
Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" SSD $98.49
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 670 2GB $382.91
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower $109.99
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V $154.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $17.99
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) Combo or $99.99

Overall System: $1554.31

Any input is much appreciated! :)  :D 
November 13, 2012 2:30:25 AM

You're overpaying for the motherboard by a lot.

RAM is a bit ovepriced too.

You don't need a Caviar Black for a storage drive, even the Green would be fine. Unless you want the 5-year warranty, of course.

I would get the 7970 instead. It's about the same price as the 670 but outperforms it and is actually on par with the 680.

PSU is overkill for a single GPU unit. If you're going to SLI/Crossfire in the future, keep it.

Here's something I would do.

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 Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($352.00 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1249.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 23:39 EST-0500)

Make sure to make use of the discounts and rebates.

Alternately, now that you have a lot of saved cash, you can get what IMO is the best single GPU out there - also the most quiet and has one of the best custom coolers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want a motherboard with slightly more features and ports,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Really though, that ASUS DELUXE is heavily overpriced.
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November 13, 2012 2:59:03 AM

excella1221 said:
You're overpaying for the motherboard by a lot.

RAM is a bit ovepriced too.

You don't need a Caviar Black for a storage drive, even the Green would be fine. Unless you want the 5-year warranty, of course.

I would get the 7970 instead. It's about the same price as the 670 but outperforms it and is actually on par with the 680.

PSU is overkill for a single GPU unit. If you're going to SLI/Crossfire in the future, keep it.


I definitely agree there. I wouldn't pay that much for a motherboard.
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November 13, 2012 5:48:00 AM

The PSU I assumed was to be future proof. But I love what you've done and the fact that you saved me so much money without compromise.

I have heard and read many things about the fact that the ATI and their drivers are not very good when compared to nvidea. Stuttering and the such.

Is that true? I mean in you guys' experience ?

I will change the build to mirror your recommendations. Thank you again!
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November 13, 2012 5:53:01 AM

AMD bought out ATI a few years ago, they don't run the scene anymore.

Though yes, during those days they had poor drivers; nowadays though, they have great Catalyst releases that have major performance boost for their cards, some even turn the tides when things were favored by nVidia - a good example is BF3, if you look at old benchmarks, you'll see nVidia cards have a great advantage in terms of fps, but ever since Catalyst 12.9(I think?), that advantage is little to none.

The current driver is now Catalyst 12.11.
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November 13, 2012 6:19:52 AM

I have a 7970 and found that the 12.11 drivers add roughly 10-15 fps in battlefield at 2560x1440. I was amazed at how much a driver can impact the performance!

If you do have the choice go with a 7970. It is definitely on par with the gtx 680 and overclocks like a dream. Also make sure to get a non-reference model, as these come with better cooling solutions.

I hope you enjoy your computer and the building experience itself, I had a lot of fun with my first build.
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November 13, 2012 5:38:08 PM

drone117 said:
The PSU I assumed was to be future proof. But I love what you've done and the fact that you saved me so much money without compromise.

I have heard and read many things about the fact that the ATI and their drivers are not very good when compared to nvidea. Stuttering and the such.

Is that true? I mean in you guys' experience ?

I will change the build to mirror your recommendations. Thank you again!


I run dual 7870's in my rig and I've noticed a huge improvement with the drivers. Things have changed drastically since the ATI / AMD merger. The Radeon cards have improved greatly over that time and yes the new Catalyst drivers are a huge improvement.
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