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$1500 Gaming machine (my first build!)

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December 26, 2012 4:58:06 PM

I've gone through a few of the guides on here. I've never built a machine from scratch before, so would be interested in what any of you think of my choices:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a couple weeks

Budget Range: $1500-$1600 (not including the monitor)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.canadacomputers.com, www.shoprbc.com

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel, AMD

Overclocking: Maybe (never tried before, but I might)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (not to begin with, maybe down the road)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Notes: Never tried an SSD before, also my first time going with a high-end video card instead of a more middle of the road one, never had a 7200 RPM hard drive, etc. A lot of firsts for me. :) 

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Upgrading from a gaming laptop (ASUS G73J, with ATI mobility HD 5870 card). Have been finding Guild Wars 2 to be sluggish with the settings turned up.

My build I'm considering:

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Socket LGA1155, 3.4Ghz, 6MB L3 Cache, 22nm (Retail Boxed) Gen3 (BX806237I53570K)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_65&item_id=045425

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Socket 1155 Intel Z77 Chipset
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=052352

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 64-Bit
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=530&item_id=037803

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Mid Tower Case w/ Window
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_112&item_id=038223

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 DIMMs
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=24_311_312_612&item_id=035074

Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1088&item_id=053763

Seagate 7200.12 2TB 7200RPM 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.php?coid=17427314

OCZ ZT Series 750W Power Supply
http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.php?coid=17427327

Gigabyte Radeon HD7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 PCI-E Video Card
http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.php?coid=17427330

This comes in at just under $1500, though I still need to decide on a monitor. I've also been toying with the idea of using two monitors, but am not sure yet about that. Did I forget anything essential? Is there something I chose that you disagree with (and why)?

Thanks.
December 26, 2012 5:44:42 PM

I'd suggest getting a Hyper212 Evo cooler now since your CPU isn't clock-blocked, you said you might OC someday, and it's easier to install it now as opposed to later.

It'll come in handy someday and OCing is amazingly simple with that CPU.
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December 26, 2012 6:03:05 PM

I recommend you,DON'T buy a Gigabyte one,looks like the new models the voltage is locked,(I Have a cousin who owns Gigabyte 7970 GHZ) and the voltage is locked,unless you are not overclocking,then go ahead.
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December 26, 2012 6:09:00 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
I'd suggest getting a Hyper212 Evo cooler now since your CPU isn't clock-blocked, you said you might OC someday, and it's easier to install it now as opposed to later.

It'll come in handy someday and OCing is amazingly simple with that CPU.

+1 for the CPU Cooler, CM Hyper 212 EVO or TPC 812.
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December 26, 2012 6:10:51 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That looks really good. The only thing I'd suggest is that you don't need 16GB of RAM - you could drop that to 8GB. And then this would be a better power supply: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

You recommending a non modular PSU? The ZT got 9/10 from jonnyguru it doesn't have a problem.
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December 26, 2012 6:14:53 PM

bigcyco1 said:
I recommend you,DON'T buy a Gigabyte one,looks like the new models the voltage is locked,(I Have a cousin who owns Gigabyte 7970 GHZ) and the voltage is locked,unless you are not overclocking,then go ahead.

Both AMD and nVidia are making deals with partners just to stay within standards and prevent issues, after MSI caught overvolting the cards.

However, it doesn't present any problem, you still have a chance to get the most moderate OCing without doing a damage.
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December 26, 2012 6:23:26 PM

ilysaml said:
Both AMD and nVidia are making deals with partners just to stay within standards and prevent issues, after MSI caught overvolting the cards.

However, it doesn't present any problem, you still have a chance to get the most moderate OCing without doing a damage.
Well that sucks :(  I don't like these locking cards non sense it should be customer choice bottom line...If you kill it no crying wolf that's your own fault but at least leave the option for us that do know what were doing.I am sick of having to do hard mods and bios mods finding ways to get around it.I take it as their basically spitting in us hardcore OC folks face.
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December 26, 2012 6:30:13 PM

By the way, neither cards only have locked voltages, also the Softwares like MSI Afterburner, I was surprised when I couldn't change the voltage in my HD 6950, I had to dig around and found out that i need to write a specific parameter to allow voltage control. SO i'm guessing in the near future everything will be locked up, only OCing within standards will be allowed.
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December 26, 2012 6:36:45 PM

:fou:  You might be right.I would not put it past those blood suckers. :ouch:  Lol!! what a nightmare! I do not even want to think about it.Maybe... i will start looking for a different hobby if that's the case.
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December 26, 2012 7:39:01 PM

I don't really know much about power supplies, I took the OCZ one from a list of "most recommended" power supplies that was attached to one of the guides on here. Any reason why the one you recommended is better?

For the 7970, are people basically saying that all of the video cards are going to be voltage locked, so the Gigabyte one is still okay? If not, which brands do you recommend instead of it?

Sounds good for the CPU cooler, I'll add one of those to the list.
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December 26, 2012 7:50:25 PM

ilysaml said:
You recommending a non modular PSU? The ZT got 9/10 from jonnyguru it doesn't have a problem.


The difference between a modular and non modular power supply really is the amount of cables in your system. Most of the time the cables will be routed behind the motherboard tray so you won't see those.

Quote:
By the way, neither cards only have locked voltages, also the Softwares like MSI Afterburner, I was surprised when I couldn't change the voltage in my HD 6950, I had to dig around and found out that i need to write a specific parameter to allow voltage control. SO i'm guessing in the near future everything will be locked up, only OCing within standards will be allowed.


The reason for that is that messing with the voltages will lead to system instability and failure - and that goes for everything in your system. You don't want to push your card beyond what it can handle.
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December 26, 2012 8:03:14 PM

g-unit1111 said:
The difference between a modular and non modular power supply really is the amount of cables in your system. Most of the time the cables will be routed behind the motherboard tray so you won't see those.

True, but why make it harder when it's simply easy? A 15 cables tied and organized or just 3/4 of them? I'm the kinda guy who cleans the case every 2 months and do some changes and upgrades every time, so why get bothered with tying and organizing cables? Modular cables allow for a better looking case and a better airflow.
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December 26, 2012 9:46:12 PM

It might have a little to do with what g-unit mentioned.It mostly because their trying to screw us overclockers out of getting better performance out the cards.So we have to spend more money.If we want more performace The story will be told it's to ensure safety and protect you our customer from killing your card because that's how much we appreciate you. They can kiss my ass!If others are dumb enough to bite on that bs that's sad.I am no sucker!I grew up in very bad gang infested areas.I seen a lot and learn a lot of bad things and was not born yesterday, so it's going to take a lot more planing out to pull one over on me.
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December 26, 2012 11:31:25 PM

Very nice build mate. Only piece of advice would be to avoid Gigabyte cards, you can get a Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X 1Ghz for just a few more pennies.
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December 27, 2012 2:14:22 PM

So, go for a sapphire video card instead...just better quality overall?

Is the Gigabyte motherboard still okay?
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December 27, 2012 2:20:59 PM

Calliope said:
So, go for a sapphire video card instead...just better quality overall?

Is the Gigabyte motherboard still okay?

There wasn't even a problem with the Gigabyte Windforce card, it got the winning award from toms and many other sites, actually it's one of the most great cards out there. We were negotiating something that doesn't affect the quality of the product.

Grab this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 27, 2012 2:44:00 PM

Calliope said:
So, go for a sapphire video card instead...just better quality overall?

Is the Gigabyte motherboard still okay?
I think it's a personal preference between the two both are big name companies.Get which ever you prefer. I would not buy the gigabyte card.The reason why is gigabyte have locked overvolting on the new revision cards without saying anything about it.That is a bit too much of a dirty business tactic for me.However that does not change the fact Gigabyte makes great stuff!


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December 27, 2012 11:39:31 PM

It's a reference designed card. Just go with any of the above.
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December 27, 2012 11:56:50 PM

What does "reference designed card" mean? And by "any of the above", do you mean the ones previous to my post about the Sapphire card? Or do you mean any of the cards, including the Sapphire one?
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December 27, 2012 11:57:10 PM

Oh, Sapphire _was_ one of the previously mentioned cards, lol. My bad. :) 
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December 28, 2012 12:06:33 AM

I honestly do not care for any except SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB and ASUS MATRIX-HD7970-P-3GD5 Radeon HD 7970 GHz so the other guys would be better to help you.I do not know much about the other 7970's as i have not seen anything that impressed me.
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December 28, 2012 12:18:09 AM

Reference cards are garbage imo do not buy one lol.Non reference only!
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December 28, 2012 9:20:46 AM

Video cards are so confusing, lol.

I don't buy from newegg.com since I'm in Canada and I don't want to pay shipping plus duty for crossing the border.

So reference cards are the ones that are red and don't have the multiple fans and such?

Is this one close enough? The specific ones you recommend seem to be making the price of my build creep up too much for my liking, and I still need to get a monitor and a gaming keyboard. I don't need the best of the best of 7970s, I want a decent one that isn't "garbage" though, haha. :) 

http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.php?pid=77883
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December 28, 2012 11:26:07 AM

Yeah that's the one.
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December 28, 2012 12:59:47 PM

Thanks so much! :) 
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December 30, 2012 8:02:17 AM

Calliope said:
Video cards are so confusing, lol.

I don't buy from newegg.com since I'm in Canada and I don't want to pay shipping plus duty for crossing the border.

So reference cards are the ones that are red and don't have the multiple fans and such?

Is this one close enough? The specific ones you recommend seem to be making the price of my build creep up too much for my liking, and I still need to get a monitor and a gaming keyboard. I don't need the best of the best of 7970s, I want a decent one that isn't "garbage" though, haha. :) 

http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.php?pid=77883
:lol:  there not garbage i just do not like reference cards so i say it's garbage :lol: 
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December 30, 2012 9:49:12 AM

I suggest you buy the best PC you can NOW and max everything out with it.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($269.99 @ Canada Computers)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P67X-UD3-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.88 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($359.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($359.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Antec DF-35 ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.99 @ Memory Express)
Total: $1560.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-30 06:48 EST-0500)
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