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Option A or Option B? i7 or i5? Radeon or GTX?

Last response: in Systems
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December 23, 2012 8:51:44 AM

Any more suggestions for my build? What should I go with? Those with "**" are the differences between the two options.

Option A:
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz **
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II TOP **
MOB: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Turbo Edition
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz Dual Channel
SSD: Crucial m4 128GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB **
ODD: LG 24x (OEM)
PSU: Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze
ATX: Cooler Master HAF 912 Combat Edition
MON: BenQ 21.5"

Option B:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz **
GPU: EVGA GTX 670 FTW **
MOB: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Turbo Edition
SSD: Crucial m4 128GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB **
ODD: LG 24x (OEM)
PSU: Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze
ATX: Cooler Master HAF 912 Combat Edition
MON: BenQ 21.5"

I actually don't know which of these two would perform better because there are no direct comparisons between 670 FTW and 7970 DirectCU II TOP. :( 

P.S. Option A is actually $15.00 cheaper.
December 23, 2012 8:58:45 AM

For a gaming build, Option A looks better for me - more performance from the video card and a not-so overpriced HDD, but drop down the i7 to an i5-3570k and save yourself ~$100.
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December 23, 2012 9:00:41 AM

Aren't there any differences between 3770K and 3570K in terms of gaming and programs like photoshop and sony vegas?
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December 23, 2012 9:26:41 AM

In terms of gaming, not really.You'd only see the difference in extremely CPU intensive games like Battlefield 3.And even then the difference won't be noticable.

As for Photoshop and Sony Vegas, yes you would see a significant performance improvement in them.
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December 23, 2012 10:54:21 AM

Hmm... so it's i7 for the processor? How about the graphics card... 7970 or 670. :/ 
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December 23, 2012 10:57:17 AM

You can actually get the 7970 a load cheaper?
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December 23, 2012 11:08:29 AM

Yup. I think it's due to the EVGA products being made in USA that's why import taxes added on the product are very high.

In my country,
Asus Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II TOP - $448.00
EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $532.00

Is a hundred dollars really worth getting the GTX 670 FTW? I only chose it for option B because it seems that many people really like it.
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December 23, 2012 11:10:23 AM

Definitely option A. It's the better build in every way and cheaper too :lol: 

If you want to save more money downgrade to an i5.
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December 23, 2012 11:18:16 AM

Well I'd normally go with the GTX670, but it's normally a fair bit cheaper. This stuff really does seem to vary by country though. Of the GTX670 manufacturers, I can only think of 2 (out of 10) that are American. What about the Taiwanese GeForces - MSI, Gigabyte and Asus?
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December 23, 2012 11:27:44 AM

the difference between the i5 and the i7 is hyperthreading. if the program doesnt take advantage of hyperthreading then there is no difference. games do not use hyperthreading.

7970 over a 670, it is just a better card in most games.
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December 23, 2012 12:21:48 PM

The 7970 does indeed achieve higher frames per second in most games, but what people fail to mention is that the difference is so small, you couldn't possibly notice it - you'd have to use a framerate counter. Some games work better with the Radeon, some with the GeForce. On average you're looking at maybe a 5% gain on average with the 7970, if that. So that alone is normally reason enough to take the GTX670 (since it's normally a fair bit cheaper, more than enough to account for the <5%).

The GTX670 has other, more noticeable and beneficial things that put it on top though than <5% frames/second. Firstly, a much more consistently high delivery of framerates. Frames/second is a crude, oversimplified measure of performance that doesn't tell the whole story. If a card is fluctuating rapidly between long and short frame render times (which has been standard for both GeForces and Radeons), frames/second can still make performance appear smooth, when it isn't (due to dips and spikes being averaged out). This illustrates what I'm talking about quite nicely:

http://techreport.com/review/24022/does-the-radeon-hd-7...

Like I say, in the past, both GeForces and Radeons exhibited inconsistent delivery of framerate. But both companies have been working on fixing this (especially for dual-GPU setups where it's generally a lot worse). nVidia actually started a project specifically targeting smooth, consistent framerate delivery. From the looks of the benchmarks in the article I linked, it appears they've cracked it. Additionally, the 7970 can't run PhysX. There's aren't loads of games supporting it (21 since 2008) but there's some major titles making use of it now (like Borderlands 2, Batman Arkham City, Bulletstorm, Metro 2033) and it can deliver some awesome results:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAfzjTAhpBk&feature=play...

Pretty cool right? :-)

EDIT: Before anyone points out that the GTX670 isn't in the article linked, I linked it because the model adjacent to it is. Architecturally, the two are very similar, so it's highly unlikely the consistency shown applies only to the GTX660Ti and not the GTX670.
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December 23, 2012 12:30:44 PM

What are you trying to say? That he should choose a MORE EXPENSIVE build with i5 +670 over a build with i7 +7970? Eh, I disagree. I disagree a lot :lol: 
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December 23, 2012 12:35:16 PM

So what's the real deal here, eh? i7 + 7970 top or i5 + 670 ftw?
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December 23, 2012 12:35:45 PM

What I'm trying to say is pretty obvious - 'check out the reasons the GTX670 is an excellent choice'. Thought that was clear. As I said above, don't buy an EVGA model when it's so overpriced. Grab an MSI, Gigabyte, etc. And I'd +1 what was said about combining it with an i5 to take the cost down a bit.
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December 23, 2012 12:36:21 PM

The i7 build most definitely. It offers better price/performance.
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December 23, 2012 12:36:53 PM

icedburg3 said:
So what's the real deal here, eh? i7 + 7970 top or i5 + 670 ftw?


i5 + a reasonably-priced MSI GTX670 would be best :-) Is the EVGA model the only one available?
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December 23, 2012 12:38:39 PM

i wouldnt take what sam is saying too seriously in all honesty.

nvidia has some pretty hardcore fanboys.

personally (and a couple others here) think that the i5 with a 7970 is your best bet. if you must spend that extra money you could get an i7, or possibly something else (like a ssd or a nicer case or something.)
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December 23, 2012 12:42:43 PM

neon neophyte said:
i wouldnt take what sam is saying too seriously in all honesty.


Based on what? The fact that you yourself are an AMD fanboy and don't like seeing strong, well-explained arguments that make your AMD products look inferior? I'd be happy to discuss any individual point you have an issue with if you can give a half-decent argument against it and not just 'ignore people who disagree with me'.

This is the last time I'll say this - the EVGA card is a rip. Grab an MSI, Gigabyte etc GTX670 if you can. In most countries, the GTX670 is cheaper, so if you can avoid the US tax problem with American manufacturers, you should find a better deal. And again, i5 will be ample if you're primarily after gaming performance.

EDIT: I'd +1 what's said about the SSD - the M4 is an excellent drive, but you should be able to find a Samsung 830 at the same price and it's a significantly faster drive. Both are really great options though.
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December 23, 2012 12:45:41 PM

I think you need to calm down, sam. You think PhysX makes the GTX670 rock, I - and many others - don't. I have had nVidia cards in the past but currently own AMD because I think they offer better value in the current market. I don't need you to agree with me, though.
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December 23, 2012 12:51:48 PM

Don't worry, I am calm. It's a little frustrating though to see somebody say 'ignore that guy' and offer no counter or real discussion after I've taken the time to carefully explain the differences. At least explain how a particular point is wrong. And I'd actually consider PhysX the least of the arguments for a GTX670, but still clearly a cool feature worth mentioning. You can't look at that video and tell me you can't see the differences.
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December 23, 2012 1:28:14 PM

I can't even believe people will suggest getting a more expensive build with a $100 cheaper CPU and WORSE GPU. Also, PhysX is next to useless(it's just eye-candy).


TL;DR GET OPTION A.
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December 23, 2012 1:36:00 PM

Option A it is then! Thanks guys! :) 
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December 23, 2012 1:36:43 PM

Best answer selected by icedburg3.
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December 23, 2012 2:46:12 PM

not an amd fanboy, infact i have owned more nvidia cards than amd. amd just is the better choice most the time right now.
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