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Here's my potential system - Can I save money anywhere?

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November 30, 2012 12:11:55 PM

I've put this together: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qccU, and I was hoping someone could have a look and tell me if I could save any money.

I would like to play the very latest games, but I'm not obsessed with having all settings on ULTRA, having said that, it would be nice. I'll be hooking this up to a Dell U2311H.

It will be used for gaming and video editing mainly.

Also, is this a huge deal? "Some Intel Z68 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Ivy Bridge CPUs."

Any help would be appreciated guys!

Thanks.
November 30, 2012 12:45:55 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qgAD

Some changes, save ups some money and with better card and cpu (7950+i5-3470)
It has the adequate mobo for the cpu and cooler.
And a better case in my opinion.
November 30, 2012 1:16:26 PM

^Great build.

I would change the Spinpoint to a WD Caviar Blue instead though, the former is just a rebranded Seagate ever since they bought it.
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November 30, 2012 1:35:23 PM

I'm with djangoringo, except for one small thing: Do you even need an aftermarket CPU cooler? You won't overclock your CPU (not a "K" edition) and except if you play intensively an entire day in a room at 45°C. you won't need that. Well, that's my opinion... feel free to spend that $10, it can't hurt, but I'm doubtful it will do you any good... considering the i5's 77W...
November 30, 2012 2:14:30 PM

I'm not really sure how to overclock, or the real benefits of doing it, so I guess not. But if someone tells me it's fairly easy, and could really improve performance, then the option for doing it some point down the line might be nice... Does Djangoringo's suggested build prohibit oc? Thanks for all your replies by the way.
November 30, 2012 2:16:52 PM

Actually, Darkmonk is correct. You don't really need an aftermarket cooler if you're not going to OC, and that Zalman, I doubt will be any better than the stock cooler that comes with the CPU.

And yes, the only processors that can OC are the ones that have a 'K' at the end.
November 30, 2012 4:48:35 PM

I thought he wanted a aftermarket cooler, so i put the zalman which in some reviews for its price does a good cooling solution much better than the stock.
But since he doesn't need i made the changes and added the 7970 AMD (which comes with 4 recent games) :

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qhXk

The price still inferior to the initial build.
November 30, 2012 7:56:19 PM

I did put one in my initial build, so Django - thanks for considering that, but it's interesting to hear what people think about it. For £13, I think I might as well?

Also, I'm confused, Darkmonk says "You won't overclock your CPU (not a "K" edition)" while excella1221 says "the only processors that can OC are the ones that have a 'K' at the end." ?

I think that video card might be pushing it a bit for me! Seems really powerful. How would it compare to the card I picked first? (Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card)

Also, can someone explain the differences between spending £140 on a mobo, and under £100. I've read in most places that something around the £100 is totally adequate.

Thanks guys!

November 30, 2012 8:15:50 PM

The 7970 is the top of the line of amd and a high end card, it will much better than the 7870.
The only i5 ivybridge cpu which you can oc is the i5-3570k the other ones only turbo boost to for e.g : the i5-3470 3.6 ghz.
You don't need for a good aftermarket cooler for those, only for the 3570k if you want to push it for more than 4 ghz.

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qjyP with 7970 and changed the mobo(the h77 pro4 mvp is out of stock)

or if you want the i5-3570k+better mobo and good cooler at cost of gpu (from a 7970 to a 7950) :

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qjDf
November 30, 2012 8:35:04 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£145.38 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£53.53 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£26.39 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.74 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£68.66 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card (£197.93 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case (£91.01 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£71.58 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£71.28 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £790.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-30 22:33 GMT+0000)

same price, better case, and has an SSD. the Mobo is from last generation but at a great price(here in US it is about $100) if anything i would switch up to a z77 board and an i5 3570k and a Hyper 212 evo
November 30, 2012 9:26:33 PM

The bios of that board has to be flashed in order to use the ivybridge cpu, so it wont work.
For gaming it will always be better the gpu vs ssd, the 7950+hdd gets better performance vs 7870+ssd.
I and i don't think the case is better compared with the 400r.
November 30, 2012 9:51:15 PM

of course 7950 would get better performance in games than a 7870(not by much though) but an SSD doesnt give much performance to games, it just makes the system respond faster(biggest issue with HDD IMO) boots up faster(another big issue with HDD but not much of a problem from most)

400R vs R4. I just like the style R4 gives off. Airflow 400R would win, they are both easy to build inside and have tons of cable management. R4 wins in silence though. the simplicity of both cases are great though.

Considering you will already have a computer, downloading the BIOS and putting it into a USB or CD is not much of a problem so i dont know why people just complain about that part
November 30, 2012 10:08:44 PM

Thanks for your input Boulbox; I think i'd rather buy things that are compatible off the bat. This is my first build (as you can tell), and while I have a fairly firm grip on this stuff, that's something I'd rather not have to do. So, The SSD would be for the OS and games, while everything else (movies, music etc) would be stored on the HDD? My only issue with that is that 120GB would feel rather cramped in terms of application storage, no?

Also: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-I7-3770K-Fas...

Where are they ******* me with this? I want to build a PC - I want a project as well as a great system - but there must be a financial benefit to building it yourself, right? Because looking at that system I can't see it.
November 30, 2012 10:11:59 PM

How he's gonna do it with a ivybridge cpu, he has to have a sandybridge to update...it doesn't work without cpu.
It doesn't make sense going for a z68 when for a i7-3470 a h77 will be the best choice or a z77 for k version.
As for the ssd, better gpu will always be better and there is a considerable difference between the 7950 and 7970 vs 7870 (even more when oc).
As for the case i prefer the 400r anyday.
November 30, 2012 10:37:23 PM

That setup for 799 pounds ain't bad but you wont need the i7, nor 16gb ram and has a crappy psu 800w (they don't tell the brand it is from a crappy brand) and crappy case without cooler.

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qkLR similar build but with cooler and a good brand psu/case and better mobo/gpu

But my favorite is this : http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/qkRs best gaming cpu+7970 which is a monster for oc.
November 30, 2012 10:54:16 PM

Thanks man, you've been a great help, as everybody who's commented!

I think that build looks good to me; I might be forced to dumb down on the graphics card a bit, but hopefully not.

The only change I'd make is the case, as I'm fond of this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-Carbide-Micro-Tower-Whi...

But, overall, this has really helped to narrow down my build! Cheers! I'm sure I'll come back at you all with something else soon.
November 30, 2012 11:42:44 PM

500R is a great case, i would either choose 500R, HAF XM, or Fractal R4 at the $100 price point.

djangoringo's build is not that bad but i would rather having an SSD and dumbing down the GPU to a 7870 since i would rather have speed and making it feel more worth the cost of the build.

XFX is an "Okay" manufacturer for AMD GPUs but i would rather get something from Sapphire or HIS which i feel more comfortable with
December 1, 2012 12:28:37 AM

boulbox said:
Considering you will already have a computer, downloading the BIOS and putting it into a USB or CD is not much of a problem so i dont know why people just complain about that part

Because the z68 is an older generation with already outdated features.
The z77 has native USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0, sure the latter isn't vastly needed yet but why would you settle for something less when the better is about the same price, if not cheaper.
December 1, 2012 1:41:40 AM

excella1221 said:
Because the z68 is an older generation with already outdated features.
The z77 has native USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0, sure the latter isn't vastly needed yet but why would you settle for something less when the better is about the same price, if not cheaper.


the z68 board i posted was cheap, very cheap and it is a good quality board, are you saying you should spend more for a H77 board instead of a the z68 board?

z77 is great but it was a locked CPU so it was either a cheap board(H77) or the even cheaper z68 board which is priced at $100 in US and priced $50 in UK
December 1, 2012 7:54:21 AM

All z68 boards are expensive in the US.
The z68 Pro3's price is fair, you basically get what you pay for since the B75 is the same price (55 pounds) which has the z77's features minus RAID configuration support and Intel SRT, and the H77 has all those (USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0), and a few more pci slots and SATA ports but is a few pounds more expensive.

In the end it comes down to the OP's preferences.
December 4, 2012 11:42:33 AM

Looks good to me, you forgot the OS though.
December 4, 2012 12:05:38 PM

I'll be getting Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit for Christmas from a kind soul. Unless you think I should go for 8?
December 4, 2012 12:17:46 PM

jackdag said:
I did put one in my initial build, so Django - thanks for considering that, but it's interesting to hear what people think about it. For £13, I think I might as well?

Also, I'm confused, Darkmonk says "You won't overclock your CPU (not a "K" edition)" while excella1221 says "the only processors that can OC are the ones that have a 'K' at the end." ?

I think that video card might be pushing it a bit for me! Seems really powerful. How would it compare to the card I picked first? (Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card)

Also, can someone explain the differences between spending £140 on a mobo, and under £100. I've read in most places that something around the £100 is totally adequate.

Thanks guys!

a 7870 maxes out BF3 (Ultra) just fine, if you're really looking to save money, get it. Also, I think you can get away with a ~100£ mobo and the 3450 is FINE for your needs. the boost you get from OC'ing is worth it IMO, but it's a hassle and you have to buy a better cooler. Also if you get the 3450 and you're okay with a cooler on the noisy side, the intel stock cooler will work fine. Sorry if any of this has been said. I just kinda skimmed TBH
ALSO edit, your current build looks fine, but if you're going with the 3570k, you could switch your card to a 7870 and put the money into a Hyper 212 Evo for more OC'ing potential. just some food for thought
ANOTHER edit, get 1600Mhz RAM. 1333 will soon be outdated. Corsair ram is pretty cheap right now, so I'm sure you'll be able to find a good deal.
December 4, 2012 12:23:40 PM

Not at all Zed_Sponge, I appreciate everyone's input, really. What would be your ultimate £800? ($1300) build? You can exclude OS, monitor, mouse and keyboard. I swear I build a new PC everyday on part picker. I'm only really settled on the i5 3450k! Overclocking, for me, is not something I've thought about. Can someone explain how easy it is to do and what the real benefits are? Considering I don't know much about it, I don't think I'm the kind of person who would notice the results... but I might be wrong. I'm often wrong.
December 4, 2012 12:29:24 PM

WOAH 1300!? going by US prices you can get MUCH better than that xD
December 4, 2012 12:31:41 PM

I've not gotten around to OCing any of my i5's just because I'm lazy and they perform fine as is. IMO it's not worth the hassle and the 40 dollars cooler for a couple FPS more, but it differs user to user. I already had a cooler so It's worth it for me. Meh it depends on your preference. I know that feeling bro. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT BUILDING IT, Unless it's gonna be built really soon. my best advice is to decide on something today and order the parts today. The best layout changes day to day.
December 4, 2012 12:32:54 PM

Alright, I'm gonna put together an... 806 pound build. erm, I'll keep it at 1250 ish USD, and edit this post with it when I'm done.
OKAY here it is:
Case - NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 Elite. Cheaper, pretty sleek, some good options
Mobo - get the mobo you chose, it's a great board.
HDD - I would go with 500GB Caviar blue. Decent 7200RPM HDD. I really doubt you'll be able to get that 1TB for so cheap. also, 500 gigs is more than enough for most and you can always add more hdd space later.
Video card - Sapphire 7950 OR 7970, I'd go with 7970 but, if you wana save some money, go ahead and get the 7950.
PSU - I'd get the corsair CX750 If you wanna XFIRE your video card, and if not get any quality 500-600 watt PSU made by seasonic. (that's lke, xfx, antec, and maybe corsair, idk)
RAM - just about ANY 2x4gb ddr3 1600mhz with a latency <10 is fine. dont get speedier ram than that or it'll fry your i5.
CPU- i5 3450. GO AHEAD and get the 3570k if you feel like you NEED to oc. If you DO get the 3570k, save up and get a hyper 212 EVO later on. LATER. ON.
Optical drive - any old 15 dollar (idk in pounds) optical drive will work fine unless you want blu ray.
December 4, 2012 12:38:28 PM

Something for me to look forward to while I fetch milk & bread :) 
December 4, 2012 12:42:27 PM

Did I miss anything?
xD So basically, your combos are like
7950 + 3570k no cooler and buy one later.
7970 + 3450 no cooler period. would provide best performance IMO but if you can't get a 7970, meh. I didn't really add all that up, But I know you were spending too much on the case and needed 1600mhz ram. Also, the CX750 is totally worth crossfire options with, say, a 7870?
December 4, 2012 1:08:37 PM

No Zed, that's really helpful. I don't think Overclocking or crossfire are really for me. This is a one time build, which I'll probably upgrade once a year or so. And I've just remembered I've already got a Seagate 7200rpm 500GB drive, so I think I'll take your advice on the HDD and stick both in to total 1TB. I say I want to save money, but I'm facing that conundrum of 'just spend an extra bit of cash now, you might as well, you're already spending £800' and, based on my past, I know I'll get the better card...
December 4, 2012 1:10:36 PM

Yeah get the better card. The performance boost from OC'ing are MUCH lower than that of a 7970>7950
You could get away with a HAF 912 case if you really wanna save money and upgrade your other parts. fyi
December 4, 2012 1:39:07 PM

Thanks Zed. This has helped me decide on the motherboard, CPU and video card (I'm actually going for the 7950 - the price difference is just too much. The case is a joint decision, as I live with my girlfriend, and considering that's the part she'll see everyday, we've decided on the slightly more expensive 500r. Thanks man! I'll be back...
!