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Gaming Build, did I screw up?

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December 8, 2012 4:26:59 AM

Greetings Tom's Experts,

I am posting this primarily for approval. I really just want to make sure I didn't make any screw-ups when it comes to compatibility, sizing, etc. I'm fairly confident in my component choices but for an investment on this scale I would like more than just my opinion.

Particular things I would like a second opinion on:
Motherboard choice - Research seems to say the Sabertooth Z77 is excellent but would like confirmation.
RAM - Should I invest more in the quality?
PSU - Is wattage adequate for the build?
Case - I like this one but if there's something significantly better from an outside perspective I'd like to know.
Future Proof - would an upgrade anywhere in particular make the build last longer? I would prefer not to replace this for several years.
Accessories - I intend to pick up some extra fans and thermal paste but is there anything in particular you all would recommend.

My situation:
I am upgrading from a Sager gaming laptop that is several years old and in dire need of replacement.
I have no knowledge of or experience with over-clocking thus don't intend to do any on this build.
This is primarily a gaming PC, with some schoolwork done as well.
I'm willing to spend up to $200 more if it can be justified to me.
Will be used with a dual monitor set-up, as of now includes a 27" (1920x1080) and an old 17" (1280x1024) that will eventually replaced by something bigger.

Finally the intended specs:

CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K $214.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard - ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 $239.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU - GeForce GTX 680 Classified 4GB $559.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - CORSAIR HX Series HX750 $129.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB $74.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe $189.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage Drive - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 $84.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case - COOLER MASTER RC-692 $74.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-D14 $80.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Disk Drive - Blu-ray Burner $59.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL $1,710.90

If there are any more questions please feel free to ask. I will have this thread on e-mail alert as I'm quite interested in your comments.

Thanks much,
John

More about : gaming build screw

December 8, 2012 4:58:44 AM

I agree, replace the mobo and gpu. Excellent quality ram, I would downgrade to 8gb if you are gaming only. If you plan on overclocking, the PSU is good enough. Do not get any liquid cooling unless it's custom, I say stick with the cooler you got and you should be good.
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December 8, 2012 1:29:08 PM

Thanks for the replies lt_dan_zsu and techdude9,

My questions are as follows:

Why is the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 better than the ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77? Is it a matter of performance or something else?

I have quite a bit of brand loyalty to NVIDIA and was wondering why you would recommend against it. Though first I feel I should clarify, the GPU was just about the only component I was willing to go a bit overboard on price with. While the 7970 may be a better value that is not what I was looking for but rather I was focusing on performance. Obviously I didn't have it in the budget for a 690 but I wanted the next best.

I'd like to thank you again for the responses.

John
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December 8, 2012 1:39:03 PM

About the asrock one. It is simply about getting the exact same thing for $100 less, you could even use a triple slot card as the top one and still cfx with it. No you will see no difference over the ASUS one, but that goes both ways. The reason I recommended that card was because it is the best of both worlds. It is cheaper AND more powerful. In general it is a bad idea to get more ram than the standard card uses. Since the 680 is only 256bit, 4gb would be a little bottlenecked. My brother got a 7970 recently, now the only card that outperforms his is the 690, in some benchmarks he outperforms a 590 or 6990. You could propoably easily over clock it past 1250 mhz, as from what I read most people can get about 15-25% boost with their 7000 series cards.
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December 8, 2012 5:44:49 PM

Nekrous said:
Thanks for the replies lt_dan_zsu and techdude9,

My questions are as follows:

Why is the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 better than the ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77? Is it a matter of performance or something else?

I have quite a bit of brand loyalty to NVIDIA and was wondering why you would recommend against it. Though first I feel I should clarify, the GPU was just about the only component I was willing to go a bit overboard on price with. While the 7970 may be a better value that is not what I was looking for but rather I was focusing on performance. Obviously I didn't have it in the budget for a 690 but I wanted the next best.

I'd like to thank you again for the responses.

John

The 7970 is better performance than any card out there right now (not sure about the 690 tbh), with catalyst 12.11 drivers and all. And for the sabertooth z77 you aren't getting much more than the Extreme4 for the price.
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December 8, 2012 7:05:40 PM

No the 690 still has better performance lol. But it is also 2 cards/
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December 8, 2012 7:48:38 PM

techdude9 said:
The 7970 is better performance than any card out there right now (not sure about the 690 tbh), with catalyst 12.11 drivers and all. And for the sabertooth z77 you aren't getting much more than the Extreme4 for the price.

Meh. Same thing as before, 680 is better in some games (BF3) while the 7970 is better in others (Skyrim).
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December 8, 2012 7:49:58 PM

techdude9 said:
The 7970 is better performance than any card out there right now (not sure about the 690 tbh), with catalyst 12.11 drivers and all. And for the sabertooth z77 you aren't getting much more than the Extreme4 for the price.

Meh. Same thing as before, 680 is better in some games (BF3) while the 7970 is better in others (Skyrim).
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December 8, 2012 9:20:17 PM

The 680 and 7970 trade blows, but the 7970 can overclock way higher, or if you don't want to deal with the hassle get a ghz edition that I listed which is about 20% higher than standard clock. then the 7970 will beat the 680 in almost any game.
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December 9, 2012 3:17:22 AM

Greetings again!

First of all thank you all for the input and advice, it has influenced some of my hardware choices. Below is a new revision of my build that I would like your input on:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($182.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master NV-692A-KWN2 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1456.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-08 23:55 EST-0500)

First thing to mention is the PSU, the one I selected is the following:
Corsair HX 750 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For whatever reason I couldn't find this particular PSU in PC Partpicker.

Notes and Questions**:
As you can see, after supplementary research I went along with the recommendation to switch to a 7970. For someone who intends to stick with a single card system it seems that the 7970 is the superior performer. From what I've read, the issues I remember in regards to ATI cards are basically ancient history now.

**I would like clarification on how this card can operate two monitors however, I see only 1 DVI port. I assume I simply purchase an adapter but I would like confirmation.

**Second, I went with the suggested Gigabyte version of the card, is there one that is better or should I stick with the Gigabyte?

** I know the 7970 is more power hungry, should I upgrade to the 850 Watt PSU?

**And finally, does anyone know where I can confirm that my GPU will fit in my chosen case? I think that the case can hold up to a 12" card but I haven't been able to confirm that, I think the Hardware Canucks review video has the possible card dimensions in the annotations but I can't seem to get them to display.

Speaking of the case, while that is the one I will be going with I'm going to be ordering the more recent version that has front-mounted USB 3.0.

Thanks again for any input you can offer, I really appreciate the help.

P.S. Can anyone recommend an introductory guide to overclocking?
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December 9, 2012 6:34:56 PM

I'm bumping this with my most pressing concern. I would like a recommendation for a high-quality ATX Motherboard. While I've generally heard good things about the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 I've also heard some negative things in regards to its capacity for overclocking. I also want to insure that my motherboard won't be the bottleneck for my system.

TL;DR - Recommendations for good motherboards compatible with the specs in the above post.

Thanks for any input!
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