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Need advice on my first build.

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December 13, 2012 9:14:13 PM

Hey everyone, so this is my first build and I already have some ideas in place but I figured I would ask around to see what recommendations you all would have for me. My budget is anywhere from 1000 to say 1300?

So far I've come up with these few ideas,

1. ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
2. i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155
3. Either a samsung 830 or 840 SSD as well as a Western Digital WD RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
4. Can't seem to pick a video card for the life of me so that's one place I definitely need some help.
5. CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
6. Either the Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 power supply or Corsair Gaming Series 800-Watt 80 Plus
7. Thinking of doing a watercooling system but haven't decided yet.

So that's what I have in mind so far, feel free to give me all your thoughts and suggestions.

More about : advice build

December 13, 2012 9:49:13 PM

There's no point in purchasing the Sabertooth - it's costly, overrated, and that thermal armor is a heat trap rather than a heat preventer. Stay away from the Corsair GS series - they don't use the best OEM for that model. If you do a liquid loop, don't get a closed loop like the H100, get a real custom loop.

For that price I'd suggest a build like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1144.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-13 18:49 EST-0500)
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December 13, 2012 10:06:38 PM

g-unit1111 said:
There's no point in purchasing the Sabertooth - it's costly, overrated, and that thermal armor is a heat trap rather than a heat preventer. Stay away from the Corsair GS series - they don't use the best OEM for that model. If you do a liquid loop, don't get a closed loop like the H100, get a real custom loop.

For that price I'd suggest a build like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1144.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-13 18:49 EST-0500)



Thanks for the suggestions, I definitely appreciate it. I've heard some negative things about the asrock motherboard you suggested so I'm slightly apprehensive about it. As for the video card I've heard mostly good things except for a few people saying they couldn't run a game like assassins creed 3 at max which I found surprising.
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December 13, 2012 10:11:59 PM

chrisb3431 said:
Thanks for the suggestions, I definitely appreciate it. I've heard some negative things about the asrock motherboard you suggested so I'm slightly apprehensive about it. As for the video card I've heard mostly good things except for a few people saying they couldn't run a game like assassins creed 3 at max which I found surprising.


On a 7950 really? I haven't heard that - I have dual 7870 on my rig and I can play just about anything at 110FPS on max details.

That Asrock motherboard is fine - Asrock, Asus, and Gigabyte are the top tier brands so pretty much anything from them is what you should get.
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December 13, 2012 10:22:36 PM

g-unit1111 said:
On a 7950 really? I haven't heard that - I have dual 7870 on my rig and I can play just about anything at 110FPS on max details.

That Asrock motherboard is fine - Asrock, Asus, and Gigabyte are the top tier brands so pretty much anything from them is what you should get.


It was probably another factor then that caused the issue im assuming. I guess all the research I've done on each of those 3 brands is starting to blur together and cause confusion haha. Also shouldn't I keep in mind that I won't be running a dual card configuration like you are? Obviously the desired outcome of the rig is to be able to run everything that comes out for a little while at max or at least close to.
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December 13, 2012 10:47:37 PM

chrisb3431 said:
It was probably another factor then that caused the issue im assuming. I guess all the research I've done on each of those 3 brands is starting to blur together and cause confusion haha. Also shouldn't I keep in mind that I won't be running a dual card configuration like you are? Obviously the desired outcome of the rig is to be able to run everything that comes out for a little while at max or at least close to.


Yeah my plan was to run a single as well but then Newegg had a deal that was too good to pass up on adding a second so I did. :lol: 
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December 13, 2012 11:07:22 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah my plan was to run a single as well but then Newegg had a deal that was too good to pass up on adding a second so I did. :lol: 


Haha that's understandable then. Any other video cards you'd suggest by chance?
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December 13, 2012 11:18:58 PM

chrisb3431 said:
Thanks for the suggestions, I definitely appreciate it. I've heard some negative things about the asrock motherboard you suggested so I'm slightly apprehensive about it. As for the video card I've heard mostly good things except for a few people saying they couldn't run a game like assassins creed 3 at max which I found surprising.


well, some people are having bad performance issues because AC3 was a bad console port....
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December 13, 2012 11:29:00 PM

My thoughts:

1. From a performance point of view, all Z77 based motherboards perform about the same. No need for an enthusiast motherboard unless you want to try record level overclocks. Pick your favored brand, they are all good. Nothing wrong with asrock. You should find a good one for <$150. Favor a model that has been out in the marketplace a while. It will then have any initial bios glitches fixed.

2. For a first time builder, stay away from liquid cooling. They are more expensive, noisier, less reliable, and do not cool any better than a good air cooler in a decent case.
The hyper212 or similar at about $30 is fine.

3. I presume this is for gaming. The 7950 is a gtx670 class graphics card, and that is appropriage for your budget and a 3570K.
But, you might read this report comparing a GTX660ti and a 7970. While the 7950 FPS numbers look great, there is apparently something wrong with the consistency of response times. That can be disturbing. I don't know if it is 7950 excluive or not.
I might suggest a GTX660ti or GTX670 instead:
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

4. I happen to like Samsung and Intel for SSD's. A 120gb ssd will hold the os and a handful of games. If you buy a 180gb or 240gb ssd, you may never need a hard drive at all. Samsung has had some nice sales on the 830 model which is being replaced by the cheaper to build 840 series.
I suggest you defer the hard drive purchase and buy a larger ssd up front. If you ever need bulk storage, then buy a hard drive then.

5. A 7950 or a GTX670 requires a quality 500w psu. 550w is enough for a GTX680 or 7970.
It is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit. It will run cooler and more efficiently.
Corsair, Seasonic, PC P&C, XFX and Antec are good quality.

6. A 8gb kit of ddr3 1600 ram in a 2 x 8gb configuration is the new normal. Buy low profile versions to avoid any cpu cooler clearance issues. Tall heat spreaders are mostly marketing.

7. Take the time now to download and read, cover to cover the motherboard and case manuals.

Post a revised list of parts for comments.

------------good luck-------------
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December 13, 2012 11:45:52 PM

geofelt said:
My thoughts:

1. From a performance point of view, all Z77 based motherboards perform about the same. No need for an enthusiast motherboard unless you want to try record level overclocks. Pick your favored brand, they are all good. Nothing wrong with asrock. You should find a good one for <$150. Favor a model that has been out in the marketplace a while. It will then have any initial bios glitches fixed.

2. For a first time builder, stay away from liquid cooling. They are more expensive, noisier, less reliable, and do not cool any better than a good air cooler in a decent case.
The hyper212 or similar at about $30 is fine.

3. I presume this is for gaming. The 7950 is a gtx670 class graphics card, and that is appropriage for your budget and a 3570K.
But, you might read this report comparing a GTX660ti and a 7970. While the 7950 FPS numbers look great, there is apparently something wrong with the consistency of response times. That can be disturbing. I don't know if it is 7950 excluive or not.
I might suggest a GTX660ti or GTX670 instead:
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

4. I happen to like Samsung and Intel for SSD's. A 120gb ssd will hold the os and a handful of games. If you buy a 180gb or 240gb ssd, you may never need a hard drive at all. Samsung has had some nice sales on the 830 model which is being replaced by the cheaper to build 840 series.
I suggest you defer the hard drive purchase and buy a larger ssd up front. If you ever need bulk storage, then buy a hard drive then.

5. A 7950 or a GTX670 requires a quality 500w psu. 550w is enough for a GTX680 or 7970.
It is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit. It will run cooler and more efficiently.
Corsair, Seasonic, PC P&C, XFX and Antec are good quality.

6. A 8gb kit of ddr3 1600 ram in a 2 x 8gb configuration is the new normal. Buy low profile versions to avoid any cpu cooler clearance issues. Tall heat spreaders are mostly marketing.

7. Take the time now to download and read, cover to cover the motherboard and case manuals.

Post a revised list of parts for comments.

------------good luck-------------


I appreciate the input and suggestions. I did some research into the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and it looks pretty damn solid overall, I've looked at which is most popular on newegg and it seems the msi's version seems to be the most popular so I may just go with that in the end. My brother just built his rig and he suggested a slightly older asrock z77 extreme 3 instead of the 4 because the 3 has intel supported overclocking out of the box so he said it'd be safer to go with that, any opinions on that?
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December 14, 2012 2:27:09 AM

chrisb3431 said:
I appreciate the input and suggestions. I did some research into the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and it looks pretty damn solid overall, I've looked at which is most popular on newegg and it seems the msi's version seems to be the most popular so I may just go with that in the end. My brother just built his rig and he suggested a slightly older asrock z77 extreme 3 instead of the 4 because the 3 has intel supported overclocking out of the box so he said it'd be safer to go with that, any opinions on that?


I think the msi and other brands with fancy coolers appeal to many.
The coolers are effective on an open test bed.
But, I happen to prefer the cards with a direct exhaust double slot cooler.
That gets the heat directly out the back of the case.
The others do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but then they then dump the heat back into the case where case cooling has more work to do.
That heats up both the gpu and the cpu cooling air.
I like EVGA as a vendor, with good USA support, and they have the stock direct exhaust type coolers. Look for a FTW or superclocked version.
In the end, it does not matter much.
The newer 28nm cards run cool, and there is very little percieved difference among all the models.
Graphics card makers bin their chips and charge a bit more for better chips with a factory overclock.

The asrock extreme 3/4 comment mystifies me. Yes, newegg does tout the 3 as supporting K overclocks. But so does every other Z77 motherboard that I know of.
The 4 has extra 6gb sata ports, but 2 is sufficient since only a ssd can take advantage of 6gb.
Just to be certain, google the prospective motherboard and review. Most every review will test overclocking of a "K".
If you are not greedy and are content with a conservative oc, say to 4.3 which does not need voltage changes, then I think even the cheapest Z77 motherboard will do that.
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December 14, 2012 5:59:15 AM

chrisb3431 said:
Haha that's understandable then. Any other video cards you'd suggest by chance?


You can't go wrong with the 7950 or GTX 670.

Quote:

4. I happen to like Samsung and Intel for SSD's. A 120gb ssd will hold the os and a handful of games. If you buy a 180gb or 240gb ssd, you may never need a hard drive at all. Samsung has had some nice sales on the 830 model which is being replaced by the cheaper to build 840 series.
I suggest you defer the hard drive purchase and buy a larger ssd up front. If you ever need bulk storage, then buy a hard drive then.


Intel's "reliability" is very over stated. There is none! None! The drive I own is an Intel 320 and there hasn't been a driver update since 2009! They also use the same crappy and now outdated Sandforce controller that 75% of SSD manufacturers use that makes their drives also not really worth it. I don't know how many times I have to keep pointing this out, but I will every single time.
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December 14, 2012 6:17:20 AM

Actually g-unit if you search for your ssd and you will find that there are firmware updates http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

Latest update 11/27/12. I haven't been disappointed with my Intel 520 SSD. Only that I need more space. 240gb or more is the better choice. I have on my 120gb OS, Apps, BF3 and 22gbs left.
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December 14, 2012 1:30:00 PM

@g-unit1111
Any particular sample of a product can have a problem.
It is unfortunate when it happens to you.
Then you need to deal with replacing it under warranty.

I did some research.
Here is a link to a november 2012 report on component return rates.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/881-7/components-ret...
For SSD's, the current rates are:
Intel 0.46%
Samsung 0.48%
Corsair 1.05%
Crucial 1.11%
OCZ 5.02%
For comparison, hard drives are in the 1.5% range.

As a separate look, I looked for the most frequently bought ssd's in the 120gb size.
I looked at the unfavorable ratings of 0-1egg.
Samsung 830 6% out of 401.
Intel 320 6% out of 203
Crucial M4 10% out of 258
OCZ vertex 4 11% out of 369

Intel and OCZ have 5 year warranties; Samsung and crucial have 3 year warranties.
These are not true reliabiility ratings, but they are satisfaction ratings.

For comparison, a popular WD black 1tb hard drive with a 5 year warranty has 22% 0-1 eggs out of 2187.
A Samsung 1tb has a 2 year warranty and 15% 0-1 eggs out of 2273
What can we conclude?
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December 14, 2012 3:22:25 PM

geofelt said:

Intel and OCZ have 5 year warranties; Samsung and crucial have 3 year warranties.
These are not true reliabiility ratings, but they are satisfaction ratings.

For comparison, a popular WD black 1tb hard drive with a 5 year warranty has 22% 0-1 eggs out of 2187.
A Samsung 1tb has a 2 year warranty and 15% 0-1 eggs out of 2273
What can we conclude?


Look closer at those negative ratings on Newegg. One thing I have noticed is that the negative reviews have almost nothing to do with the actual product themselves but with bad refunds or problems with UPS.

Case in point:

Quote:
Made me think twice before buying OCZ or Newegg

Pros: none

Cons: It looks like a great deal after rebate. After waiting the 90 days,turns out OCZ will tell you the product does not qualify for the rebate. You check the rebate form and the model checks out. OCZ will then tell you, opphs you took too long. That 60-90 day turnaround is intention so you will forget about the rebate. I then get an e-mail from Newegg for a hot 3 day sale with the same product (OCZ, 120GB SSD) on sale with a rebate. I will never buy another OCZ product and have started buying with other online retailers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-...
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December 14, 2012 4:01:44 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Look closer at those negative ratings on Newegg. One thing I have noticed is that the negative reviews have almost nothing to do with the actual product themselves but with bad refunds or problems with UPS.

Case in point:

Quote:
Made me think twice before buying OCZ or Newegg

Pros: none

Cons: It looks like a great deal after rebate. After waiting the 90 days,turns out OCZ will tell you the product does not qualify for the rebate. You check the rebate form and the model checks out. OCZ will then tell you, opphs you took too long. That 60-90 day turnaround is intention so you will forget about the rebate. I then get an e-mail from Newegg for a hot 3 day sale with the same product (OCZ, 120GB SSD) on sale with a rebate. I will never buy another OCZ product and have started buying with other online retailers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-...


Good point, but for the most part, the OCZ problems were failures.
I looked at the OCZ link which you posted and selected all the 0 egg feedback.
Reading each, I counted 35 product fail reports. There were 3 related to rebate issues, and 2 that were non specific rants.
Got tired, discouraged, and stopped counting.
I can imagine that several problems were due to user issues.
I would also imagine that after some time the causes of failure have been overcome.
Still, I wonder.
I think Samsung with full control over both the hand production and the controller production has the best opportunity for better validation.
Even they had a problem with early sample firmware on the 840 PRO. Fortunately, it was fixed before any retail product was shipped.

I suspect that Intel is trying to get the controller development back in house.
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December 14, 2012 4:31:51 PM

Quote:

I think Samsung with full control over both the hand production and the controller production has the best opportunity for better validation.
Even they had a problem with early sample firmware on the 840 PRO. Fortunately, it was fixed before any retail product was shipped.


Yeah some companies like Samsung really back up the products that they produce. Then there are some that don't.

Quote:
I suspect that Intel is trying to get the controller development back in house.


I really hope that's the case.
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December 14, 2012 5:51:32 PM

Alright after doing some reading and thinking I've come up with a slightly revised mock up for the whole thing which seems to be pretty solid overall imo.


1. ASRock Z77 Extreme4
2. i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155
3. Samsung 840 SSD as well as a Western Digital WD RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
4. MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
5. G.Skill sniper 8gb ram (x2 sets =16gb)
6. Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 power supply
7. Cooler master hyper 212 cpu cooler.
8. Haven't decided on simple stuff like the dvd and blu ray drives yet

So that's where im at as of now. Thoughts and opinions welcome.
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December 14, 2012 5:57:08 PM

I will quote this, because I am not claiming credit for it, just showing it. This is a $1000 build. You said you wanted additional items as well, of which the changes fit within your $1300


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December 14, 2012 6:31:50 PM

MasterMace said:
I will quote this, because I am not claiming credit for it, just showing it. This is a $1000 build. You said you wanted additional items as well, of which the changes fit within your $1300


Okay I guess the only question I have then is, since im so new too all of this, how much more powerful is the setup you just suggested compared to my own?
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December 14, 2012 8:24:10 PM

chrisb3431 said:
Okay I guess the only question I have then is, since im so new too all of this, how much more powerful is the setup you just suggested compared to my own?

1. Obviously, the cpu is the same.

2. Yes, a GTX680 is stronger than a GTX660ti. but for playing on a single monitor, I wonder if it is worth the $70 or so difference from a superclocked GTX670.
If the $70 difference is not important to you, then by all means buy a GTX680, otherwise you will forever wonder if you should have.

3. A SSD is vastly stronger than any hard drive made. It makes everything you do so much quicker.
And... there aree faster hard drives than the WD blue.

4. From a quality point of view, Seasonic gold is about as good as it gets. But Corsair is OK also.
No perfomance differences there.

5. As to standard sized cases, a quality functional case like a Antec 100/200/300 will do the job.
Past that, it is a matter of appearances and preferences. A Cace is one good place to save if you value function.
If you value small cases,( and I do,) you can explore Micro-ATX and ITX formats.

In the end, though, buy what you need today. Tomorrow will bring better faster and cheaper products.
There is little "future proofing"
Exceptions might be cases, monitors, and power supplies to name a few.
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December 15, 2012 12:04:30 AM

geofelt said:
1. Obviously, the cpu is the same.

2. Yes, a GTX680 is stronger than a GTX660ti. but for playing on a single monitor, I wonder if it is worth the $70 or so difference from a superclocked GTX670.
If the $70 difference is not important to you, then by all means buy a GTX680, otherwise you will forever wonder if you should have.

3. A SSD is vastly stronger than any hard drive made. It makes everything you do so much quicker.
And... there aree faster hard drives than the WD blue.

4. From a quality point of view, Seasonic gold is about as good as it gets. But Corsair is OK also.
No perfomance differences there.

5. As to standard sized cases, a quality functional case like a Antec 100/200/300 will do the job.
Past that, it is a matter of appearances and preferences. A Cace is one good place to save if you value function.
If you value small cases,( and I do,) you can explore Micro-ATX and ITX formats.

In the end, though, buy what you need today. Tomorrow will bring better faster and cheaper products.
There is little "future proofing"
Exceptions might be cases, monitors, and power supplies to name a few.


I'll look into either the 670 or the 680 as well then. Sounds like I've finally almost got this thing figured out then.
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December 15, 2012 6:35:53 AM

Okay im still torn on graphics cards, I can't make up my damn mind. Without the card im just under 600 with the rest of my parts, so i can go about 300-350 on a card. I've read so many comparisons between the 660 ti and the radeon 7950 and no one can seem to agree. I've read that the 7950's are unstable sometimes and that a well overclocked 66o is great as long as you go with a 2gb version and not the 3gb which causes bottlenecking.
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December 15, 2012 6:38:34 PM

chrisb3431 said:
Okay im still torn on graphics cards, I can't make up my damn mind. Without the card im just under 600 with the rest of my parts, so i can go about 300-350 on a card. I've read so many comparisons between the 660 ti and the radeon 7950 and no one can seem to agree. I've read that the 7950's are unstable sometimes and that a well overclocked 66o is great as long as you go with a 2gb version and not the 3gb which causes bottlenecking.


Vram makes very litle difference.
Here is one study using two GTS680 cards.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...
And... I can't see how having extra vram could cause any sort of performance problem.

With your budget, buy the strongest graphics card you feel comfortable paying for. It is the prime engine of good gaming.

I might pick this EVGA GTX670 FTW LE version for $340 after rebate. I think the card has the improved cooler from the GTX680.
Two free games is a plus. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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