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I5 3570k Gaming Build Monitor Question

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December 16, 2012 9:44:36 PM

Building an i5 gaming pc to order just after Christmas, for the extra funds :D  Will be mostly used for gaming and uni next year. This is the build I am leaning towards:

CPU: i5 3570k (OC'd to ~4.2 - 4.4) $229
CPU Cooler: CM hyper 212 evo $35
Mobo: Asrock z77 extreme4 $135
GPU: Sapphire 7970 OC Edition $429
Memory: 8GB Corsair Low Profile $55
Storage: 256gb Samsung 830 SSD $205
WD Blue 1TB HDD $75
Case: CM Storm Trooper with Window $179
PSU: Antec HCG 620w Modular $115
Optical Drive: Pioneer 24x $25

Now I am not sure whether to get BenQ XL2420T 120hz monitor ($499) or a Asus VE248H 24inch for $195. Will the 7970 be able to average >85 fps in most games? If not would it be better to use the extra money to upgrade to a Gtx 680 or will the extra Vram be handy for future games?

Cheers Luke.

P.S. I live in Australia so the prices are slightly dearer. I don't have access to Newegg or Microcenter so no point mentioning them.
Also the Gtx 680 here is ~$170 to $250 (depending on 2GB or 4GB models) dearer than the 7970 above.
December 16, 2012 9:53:11 PM

Here you go, the 7970 will be able max the games. I found pieces at lower prices, like the Benq monitor which is more than 100$ cheaper.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sP7c
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sP7c/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sP7c/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 ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.95 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($139.91 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: BenQ XL2420T 120Hz 24.0" Monitor ($389.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1692.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-16 18:52 EST-0500)
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December 16, 2012 9:54:48 PM

let's just say that on ultra in 1080p with 4/8xAA no single gpu card can get above 85fps average on high 1080p with 4AA ya most likely and the 7970's overclock like crazy(1100Mhz easy!)
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December 16, 2012 9:56:10 PM

Thanks for the quick reply!
Unfortunately I live in Australia so I don't have access to Microcenter or Newegg.
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December 16, 2012 9:57:42 PM

A 680 is not an upgrade, I repeat it is not an upgrade. You are paying more for a worse card that can't oc as well. Get cheaper ram. That is a little over priced. IF you are gonna get a benq, might as well just get a 1440p monitor
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December 16, 2012 9:58:29 PM

luke_74 said:
Thanks for the quick reply!
Unfortunately I live in Australia so I don't have access to Microcenter or Newegg.


Then I'll do an australian version.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/au/p/sP7c
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/au/p/sP7c/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/au/p/sP7c/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($135.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($235.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($169.00 @ Scorptec)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Monitor: BenQ XL2420T 120Hz 24.0" Monitor ($499.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1378.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-17 10:58 EST+1100)
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2012 10:00:46 PM

The 7970 is generally better than or at least on par with the 680. Since yours is overclocked to 1000mhz, it should perform almost as good as the 7970 ghz edition (since you don't have the boost in your bios)
Looking through this review
http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/
The review was the only one I found that comapred the 7970 and the 680 in a broad range of games using the latest drivers (12.11 beta 8 and 310.63)Current drivers are 122.11 beta 11 and 310.70
There is no single gpu card in the world that can do 80+ frames in all games at 1080p ultra. 60+ is certainly doable though.
At the price of the 7970, it is not worth it with the 680 being some $250 cheaper.
I would either try to find a cheaper 7970 or go with the 680. Beware that reference boards from both AMD and Nvidia have issue with coil whine so look for a custom-pcb one (custom pcb's usually use a custom cooler)
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December 16, 2012 10:04:09 PM

stickmansam said:
The 7970 is generally better than or at least on par with the 680. Since yours is overclocked to 1000mhz, it should perform almost as good as the 7970 ghz edition (since you don't have the boost in your bios)
Looking through this review
http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/
The review was the only one I found that comapred the 7970 and the 680 in a broad range of games using the latest drivers (12.11 beta 8 and 310.63)Current drivers are 122.11 beta 11 and 310.70
There is no single gpu card in the world that can do 80+ frames in all games at 1080p ultra. 60+ is certainly doable though.
At the price of the 7970, it is not worth it with the 680 being some $250 cheaper.
I would either try to find a cheaper 7970 or go with the 680. Beware that reference boards from both AMD and Nvidia have issue with coil whine so look for a custom-pcb one (custom pcb's usually use a custom cooler)


At the price of the 7970, it is not worth it with the 680 being some $250 cheaper.

Where can you even find a 680 that is 250$ cheaper than the 7970. I want at least ONE site. Because I mean the 7970 is 400$ and if I can buy a 680 for 150$ I would buy it without thinking twice.
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December 16, 2012 10:07:36 PM

Yeah loser is right, that sounded really dumb. I have never even seen a 680 cheaper than a 7970.
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December 16, 2012 10:07:39 PM

You must have misread what I said, the 680 is dearer than the 7970.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2012 10:11:39 PM

Ohh does dearer means expensive? [i get it now, deaer as in losing more as in costing more money]
I'm not familiar with all the idioms.
I was thinking you (OP) meant the 7970 was $250 more than the 680. Woops!

Yeah I suggest the 7970, the 680 will be a downgrade.
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December 16, 2012 10:16:34 PM

Those are not any higher in all honestly. The gpu is the only thing that is really any more.
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Best solution

December 16, 2012 11:05:47 PM

I would like you to look over a few suggestions.

Processor check! Provided you put in a little time and overclock it to those speeds…

Cooler check!

Motherboard check! Though, I prefer Asus for overclocking rigs. They usually can handle voltages better than the competition at the high-end level of the tech game. Personal preference of course but I would look more toward http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU is definitely a problem. That particular Sapphire will lock your voltages, as will more Sapphire cards and companies to be
perfectly honest. If this isn’t a big deal to you then pay no attention to the rest of this suggestion. The only reliable company is MSI. Buying a video card outside of their realm should require very specific research to make sure A: the card’s voltage is indeed unlocked, or B: the card’s bios can be flashed to a version number that is unlocked. This is time consuming and difficult work to be absolutely sure that you’re making a good choice. So I would generally go with an MSI card, like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... NVIDIA or the
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... AMD

SSD is definitely a problem. If you like Samsung’s SSD, who wouldn’t? Besides me of course as I am a Corsair fan boy, then you have to get their 840 series of SSD. Before December, 2012, Samsung had no competitive SSD on the market worth buying. Corsair and OCZ were the only players, with OCZ having better paper specs with the worst reliability out of any SSD producer, and Corsair having worse specs, relatively of course, but very good reliability and better real-world tests from review sources I read at the time of my comparisons. At any rate this is all old news, as Samsung is #1 in the SSD market right now. The 840 series is 270 because it is new but well worth it  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... However if you think well it’s fast enough and I don’t want to spend the extra cash then switch how the 830 for a Corsair GTX  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for 230, or the GS version  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for 200, the different between the two being read IOPS. If you ever plan on raiding SSD then you will need the Corsair Force Series 3 which supports trim. That’s unlikely because if you can afford a raid setup go with the Samsung 840 as much as it pains me to say it. And to be fair to OCZ, this is their product that is competing against Samsung’s 840  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I would not recommend it because OCZ produces very unreliable SSD with the highest levels of failure. At any rate these are all your SSD options. As a quick summary, the best is the Samsung 840, but is 270. The second best is the OCZ Vertex 4 for 250, I would not recommend it. The third best is the Corsair GTX for 230, but for 230 why not spend the extra 40 bucks...? The final choice with least performance is the Corsair GS for 200. All of these are 240-256GB

Case check! However I recommend buying corsair airflow fans for all mounting locations. Nothing is better than a 200 dollar case with bad airflow and /end sarcasm.

PSU check! However I would recommend changing to a corsair power supply. Certain things you don't skimp on, like cheap tape for example. It's terrible because you can never peel it off to get a good strip. Power supplies are another, get a Corsair, you’ll thank me later.

Optical drive is check! But I like Asus Blu-ray, though I am just being picky now.

Now to your actual question! Personally I never got into the 120Hz monitor thing. I think it’s a bit of a gimmick and like TV for everything PC as the color production is literally a gazillion times better. I VSYNC my games@ 60 and they look wonderful on my 32’’ Samsung HDTV. However to help you out here, the people who actually own 120Hz monitors say they definitely notice a difference and recommend it. Maybe they believe there is a difference, hell for 500bucks on a monitor I’d believe there is a difference too LOL, but that’s the two essential sides. One says gimmick, no need, eye can’t see past 60 etc. The other says DOIT. Ultimately it’s your choice. Regarding the video card, the 7970 will max anything with these specs, definitely. However if you play Skyrim, Batman, Planetside 2, or maybe even Skyrim Online when it comes out then NVIDIA is your better choice. They dole out money to developers and make their cards optimized for new games. In turn they can produce hardware that 1v1 loses to AMD but in benchmarks on “their,” games win, all the while charge about 100 bucks more for their cards, and lock their voltages pretty hard core. Opinions everywhere! Will the 7970 you picked work? Yes. Will the 7970 I recommended work? Yes. Will a 680 work? Yes. It’s all preference. But if you really want to talk reality, so will a 7950 / 670. 5-10 fps difference when you are running 100fps is something that is worth looking into when you are looking at a 150 dollar difference. Extra VRAM is only helpful in the future if A: NVIDIA hasn’t optimized the particular future game, and B: You are running multiple monitor set up. Ultimately it’s your call. Hope I have been useful,

-Praxeology

PS. Now you tell me your in Aussie land... After all my babble. The best place to buy parts in Aussie land is by far their version of Newegg, http://pccasegear.com/ You can pretty much get everything I listed here, let me get a part list up.
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December 16, 2012 11:11:57 PM

Praxeology said:

The only reliable company is MSI.


MSI is not the only reliable.
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December 16, 2012 11:13:10 PM

Reliable regarding voltage locked or unlocked. MSI is the only company you can rely on for unlocked voltages*
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December 16, 2012 11:19:19 PM

Praxeology said:
Reliable regarding voltage locked or unlocked. MSI is the only company you can rely on for unlocked voltages*


Oh, I'll be honest I don't know nothing about voltages.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2012 11:25:29 PM

I believe with MSI you will have to get the power edition or higher grade one to get unlocked voltages
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December 17, 2012 6:09:09 AM

Best answer selected by luke_74.
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December 17, 2012 6:13:38 AM

Thanks Praxeology, some very good info there for me. I am still undecided on whether to get a 120hz monitor or save $200-300 and get a 60hz. I'll do some more research on them, the money saved getting a 60hz would be great to upgrade to a better SSD and get some more case fans.

Cheers Luke
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December 17, 2012 8:38:42 AM

Just went through and created a new pc on PCCG, I was planning on buying everything from them in the first place. Decided not to go for the 120hz and get an http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17297 saving $320!
With the extra funds I'll take your advice and upgrade to a Samsung 840 pro and get the MSI 7970 Lightning for $539.
I also decided to get the HAF X and max out the fans.

I didn't mean to post the HCG 620w haha. I was planning on getting it and it must have been in my mind. I meant to post the Corsair TX850 Modular, just so I have room to xfire later on if i choose to.

Much thanks for the great input!

Luke.
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December 18, 2012 5:05:04 AM

luke_74 said:
Just went through and created a new pc on PCCG, I was planning on buying everything from them in the first place. Decided not to go for the 120hz and get an http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17297 saving $320!
With the extra funds I'll take your advice and upgrade to a Samsung 840 pro and get the MSI 7970 Lightning for $539.
I also decided to get the HAF X and max out the fans.

I didn't mean to post the HCG 620w haha. I was planning on getting it and it must have been in my mind. I meant to post the Corsair TX850 Modular, just so I have room to xfire later on if i choose to.

Much thanks for the great input!

Luke.


GL, glad I helped!
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