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Upgrading after 4 years

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November 13, 2012 5:42:52 PM

Hello there everyone. So I built a computer through help of these forums about 4 years ago. I want to do it again!

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks (depends if I get my paycheck friday or monday)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) $1500-$2000 (including tax + shipping)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, streaming, programming



Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM): Everything. I am building this will all new parts.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (win 7 or 8)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, superbiz.

Location: Northridge, California

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I have always been partial to intel and nvidia for cpu and gpu respectively. I am always open to suggestions though.

Overclocking: Yes (as far as I can on air)

SLI or Crossfire: Not unless someone makes a good point as to why I should

Your Monitor Resolution: I would like to get a new monitor with the new computer. A good solid gaming monitor for a good price preferred.

Additional Comments: I would like a fan speed controllor for the computer if possible. Also if someone can recommend a good heatsync and fans for the case. Also I want to use an SSD (or 2?). I want my OS to boot quickly and my games as well. Should I have 2 ssds for this?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Its been a few years and now that I am trying to enter the competitive esports scene, I want to be at the top of my game.


I do not have my mind set on anything for sure yet.

More about : upgrading years

November 13, 2012 5:56:25 PM

do we need to include the monitor in the build? i assume you want 1080p and not 2560x1440 right? is there any parts from your old build you can/want to reuse?
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November 13, 2012 6:01:45 PM

I would like a new monitor.

I am reusing the mouse/keyboard/headset. I am actually not sure on the 1080p vs 2560x1440. I know the differences, but does one have an advantage over the other?

My current comp is going to become a trading station and I am giving the GPU to a friend so I wont be reusing any parts from that.
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November 13, 2012 6:21:37 PM

^For esports, you want 1080p or lower. Anything higher than that and you have to do one of two things: Turn the graphics way, way down, or get a very expensive SLI setup. (Or get a top-end Radeon card - they're neck and neck with nvidia, but slaughter them at higher resolutions.)
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November 13, 2012 6:27:12 PM

well, 2560x1440 will be much more expensive, mostly because of the monitor, but then you'll also need a stronger GPU and PSU. just go with 1080p, you'll be happy with it i think.

CPU = i7-3770k

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU cooler = hyper 212 evo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard = Z77 of some kind, it's kinda up to you. I like ASRock and Biostar personally.

GPU = GTX 670, although it's really hard for me to not suggest an HD 7970 right now. The 670 link is first, and i have that particular card (or should i say, i'm "borrowing" it from my brother in law).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU = Rosewill Capstone Series 750W (this is just in case you want to SLI in the future, and I'm tellin ya, these PSUs are amazing).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM = Corsair Vengeance 2x8 GB. ($10 off coupon as well on website).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I gotta go, but there's some suggestions anyway.
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November 13, 2012 6:28:26 PM

For your budget I think Full HD+ is possible if you want it.
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November 13, 2012 6:30:44 PM

I was looking up esports competitions and what not. They compete in 1080 so I would like to go with that. Thank you for the suggestions I need to look through them.

Also why the 670 over the 680? and What makes the 7970 so strong that its hard for you to not recommend it?
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November 13, 2012 6:33:14 PM

Also, what game(s) are you into? In some games (Starcraft, for example), competitive players like to lower the graphics settings to make assessing what's happening on screen faster and easier (cognitively).
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November 13, 2012 6:36:49 PM

I suppose I'll give this a shot - here's a rough draft of sorts to get started with:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg) I feel this choice is self-explanatory.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master TPC 812 86.2 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ Newegg) The TPC-812 is one of the best air coolers according to FrostyTech's latest charts.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon) Since you're looking to get the best overclock you can, you'll need a good overclocking motherboard; it's got room for a lot of expansion, but that's just icing.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Amazon) No need to go overboard here, as it won't show you much of a performance boost.
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($97.98 @ Amazon) I presume you'll need more than just 256GB for storage. The Caviar Black is fast, and has a great warranty to boot.
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Amazon) This should be great for your OS and all the games you need. No need for two of them.
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($464.98 @ Newegg) I'm assuming you'll also want to overclock your video card; hence, the Vapor-X edition. Alternatively, you could opt for a GTX 670.
Sound Card: Asus Xonar DX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($80.99 @ Newegg) It's not necessary, but I imagine you'll want the best sound you can get for your headset, since you're getting into competitive gaming.
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg) I just picked something reasonably priced, attractive, and capable of housing anthing you'd want. Totally subject to change.
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US) Modular, highly efficient, and highly reliable. There is some money to be saved here if you're not too picky about modularity.
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg) I guess you might need an optical drive? Do you want a BluRay drive instead?
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($174.99 @ Newegg) Subject to change - this one just seems great on paper (not sure how it really is). 5ms response, 1080p, IPS panel, <$200.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1812.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-13 15:24 EST-0500)

Edited for readability... Man, I hope this is better.
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November 13, 2012 6:37:12 PM

GW2 is my focus in hopes that it becomes an esport for the upcoming season. However I am also playing other games such as Counter-strike, league, and SC2. Basically focusing on one game while keeping my options open if it doesnt work out.
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November 13, 2012 6:37:56 PM

For gaming, an i7-3770K offers no advantages worth the price over an i5-3570K.
The Xigmatek Gaia cools better than the Hyper 212+, with a degree of the Hyper 212 EVO, and is up to 6db quieter. Crappermaster has also been found in competent technical reviews to be dishonest, so I cannot ethically recommend ANY of their products.
If you want high resolution and/or multiple monitors (e.g. Eyefinity), then you'll want an AMD card. As DarkSable suggested, the AMD cards perform better at higher resolutions, typically because they generally have more RAM, and may have greater memory bandwidth.
For mobos, I'd choose Asus > ASRock = Gigabyte > anyone else. If you're getting into esports, I suspect you will want Asus, especially if you intend to OC.
Capstone is a good PSU, as is anything built by Seasonic. Get 750W if multiple GPUs is even a remote possibility, otherwise 550W is enough.
For fast level load times, you'll want a SSD. Get at least 128GB; preferably 256GB. I would suggest a drive with a non-Sandfarce controller, such as the Samsung 830. Add a WD Black for data; it's the only drive to have retained a five year warranty.
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November 13, 2012 8:12:42 PM

I want to have multiple monitorsn but not like eyefinity. I want my desktop and main screen and then additional monitors for extended display. I only need 2-3 and I do not want to do SLI less I really need too. For gaming I was told that a single card should be enough.
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November 13, 2012 10:22:16 PM

A single HD7970 should last for a good while for single monitor 1920x1080 gaming. I expect my own HD7870 to last at least a few years, especially since I don't need every setting turned up to "SuperUltraMaxOhWow!" to enjoy my games.

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November 13, 2012 11:54:24 PM

So does everyone think that the build listed above is a good one to go with or does anyone else have some recommendations?
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November 14, 2012 12:41:52 AM

Close. Some things to consider are:
1. You may not need a sound card. Asus and ASRock both have some Z77 mobos that have the ALC898 codec on them: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Audio-Codec-Comp... I'd try without first; you can always add a sound card later. Here's one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $125; they go up from there. Hmmm, I just noticed that Gigabyte board also uses the ALC898. That would be fine too then.
2. Crappermaster was found to be willfully dishonest in quite a few competent technical reviews (at HardwareSecrets). Not only are many of their PSUs overrated, but some even claim to possess protection circuits that are in fact missing. When called on it in an interview, they indicated an intention of pulling them from the North American market (and foisting them off somewhere else). For that dishonesty, I cannot ethically recommend ANY of their products, no matter how good. Fortunately, the Xigmatek Gaia is a competent air cooler (I have two) that was rated by Frostytech to be better than the Hyper 212+, within a degree of the Hyper 212 EVO, and quieter by up to 6db than either one.
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