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Looking for some quick advice on a new build.

Last response: in Systems
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December 18, 2012 10:27:45 PM

I'm doing a pretty significant upgrade from my current PC (Only an Intel Quad core q8300 @ 2.5 ghz, GTX 550 ti, 4gb ddr2 ram) and I'm looking for some general advice on hardware.


Case - AZZA Armour Gaming Case - Blue

Processor - ( Intel® Core™ i7 3820 Processor (4x 3.60GHz/10MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i7 3820 )

Processor Cooling - Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-2011] - Standard 120mm Fan

Memory - 16 GB [4 GB X4] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - G.Skill Ripjaws X (got a great deal)

Video Card - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti - 2GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 1071MHz

Motherboard - ASUS P9X79 LE -- 2x USB 3.0

Power Supply - 500 Watt - Corsair CX500 V2

Primary Hard Drive - 180 GB Intel 330 SSD

Data Hard Drive - 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Single Drive

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit (Tried Windows 8...wasn't really a fan)


Total: $1,289 USD

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Things I'm uncertain of:

1. I'm considering upgrading to a GTX 660 - 2GB EVGA Superclocked 1046MHz but I'm not sure if my PSU would be able to handle it. Would this upgrade give me a huge performance boost?

2. I'll be primarily playing a game called Darkfall: Unholy Wars which is heavily based on CPU and not so much GPU. However I'll also be playing games like Diablo 3 occasionally and I'd like to be able to handle anything else that may be releasing soon.

3. Will I be able to overclock both the CPU and the GPU with this PSU?

4. Are there any potential bottle necks here that I should definitely try to avoid by upgrading something else?

5. I found this PSU for only $15 more than the one I have listed: 650 Watt NZXT HALE82N-SI. Would it be unwise to go with this brand?

PS - I will not be doing any SLI work with this machine.

PPS - Keep in mind I've never owned a gaming rig like this before so my eye is a lot more untrained than some of yours when noticing minor performance differences.



Thank you so much for any advice, it is greatly appreciated.

More about : quick advice build

December 18, 2012 11:01:28 PM

For gaming, an i7 isn't needed. You'd be better off to do a build around the i5 3570k. I'll be back in a few minutes with a better balanced build.
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December 18, 2012 11:06:59 PM

Try this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.95 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1205.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-18 20:07 EST-0500)

It'll more than handle your needs and it'll run circles around your original build. Feel free to play around with this build; customize it as much as you like. You may find that a 256gb SSD is overkill for your needs. If so, change it to a 128gb. Likewise, if the GPU is too much, drop it down a notch or two to the GTX 660 Ti or the HD 7950. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I hope this helps; good luck!
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December 18, 2012 11:20:26 PM

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 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1305.15
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-18 20:12 EST-0500)

You don't need a i7 to play games, i5 is good enough. With the Hyper 212 you will be able to do some basic overclocking. The case will give you lots of room for upgrades in the future and good airflow since you plan on oc. The power supply can handle overclocking and if you wanted to, it can handle a second gpu. There should be no bottlenecking in this build. This can play any games that come out in next few years.

Also If you don't want a full tower or want to save a little money then get the HAF XM instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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December 19, 2012 2:32:49 AM

Awesome guys, really appreciate the response times.


On thing though, are you saying that an i5 is actually better for gaming? Or simply that the power of the i7 is overkill?
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Best solution

December 19, 2012 3:13:56 AM

In gaming, there's no difference in fps between the i5 and i7. The i7 introduces hyperthreading and can actually hurt performance. Games aren't optimized for 8 virtual cores just yet. 4 physical cores is the sweet spot. Even then, dual cores can play most games just fine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4PDoy-mi0A

Watch the above video. It gives an excellent explanation.
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December 19, 2012 5:16:12 PM

Best answer selected by merlot22.
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December 19, 2012 5:18:40 PM

Thanks for the responses. Dues I'm going to take some of your suggestions. Unfortunately I can't swap the i7 for the i5 so I'll have to make do with that, hopefully I don't run into any problems.

Last thing - can you recommend any software to monitor CPU/GPU temperatures? Also if by any chance you know which temperatures are "cut off" points for the i7 that would be nice. Google is showing me several different maximum temperature suggestions.
(Now I know to post on these forums before making any decisions)


PS - I totally forgot to mention that I'll be recording game footage to make videos. Not sure if that makes any big difference in hardware selection but it is something that is important to me. It's part of the reason I'm doing this upgrade.

Here are the recommended specs for the game:

Core 2 Quad q8300 @2.6ghz
GTX 260 or Radeon HD 6770
4gb ram

However due to what we've seen in beta I would say that is quite inaccurate, it probably needs much more power than these recommendations.
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December 19, 2012 8:33:46 PM

Recommended specs are usually for medium to high settings.

If you plan on doing video editing/rendering and recording for youtube, the i7 will be a great choice. The performance loss from hyperthreading in most games isn't that significant. You'll be just fine. If needed, you can actually manually shut down the hyperthreading feature. But I wouldn't bother with it unless absolutely needed.

Stress Test

Prime95:
http://download.cnet.com/Prime95/3000-2053_4-192895.htm...

Temperature Software

Real Temp 3.70
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/Real-Te...
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December 19, 2012 8:58:26 PM

Awesome Deus. Thanks again for all the advice.

These forums are great, glad I posted. Good people =)
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December 19, 2012 9:07:57 PM

No problem. Glad I could help; good luck with your build! :D 
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