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Advice on Finalizing Build

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December 28, 2012 11:06:54 AM

Hello, I've recently made some money and my wishlist seems to becoming a reality.
Here's what I'm looking at:

Approximate Purchase Date: January 2013

Budget Range: 700-900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video/picture editing, watching movies, surfing the internet

Am I buying a monitor: Yes, 22" LCD... separate from the rest of this

Parts to Upgrade: Starting from scratch.

Do I need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, TigerDirect, Amazon, Ebay...Not too picky on sites

Location: Duncan, South Carolina, US

Parts Preferences: AMD proccessor

Overclocking: Not in the immediate future

SLI or Crossfire: Not in the immediate future

My Monitor Resolution: 1080p

Additional Comments: I am really liking this build, but I need criticism on everything...Am I using a good mobo, do I need a better power source, does everything work together, etc.

Why Am I Upgrading: I have a shared all-in-one pc that is crap at everything. I want a computer of my own that can handle most games (especially BF3, Assassin's Creed 3, Far Cry 3, etc) without a problem. I also want to build a computer for the heck of it...I LOVE working with electronics; recently I just got some free time on my hands and I want to get this thing built.

So, here's what I got:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($149.19 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($217.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z11 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $651.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-28 13:16 EST-0500)

Advice would be EXTREMELY appreciated.

Thanks,

Alec
December 28, 2012 2:23:43 PM

1) DO NOT BUY THAT VIDEO CARD... that is the one thing I will tell you to absolutely not buy. It is 2 generations old, it sucks a ton of power, it's a hair drier, and doesn't hold a candle to the 600 series. For $250 + $20MIR you can get a GTX660Ti that will blow it out of the water and run all your games very well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) I would suggest getting as many components from the same place unless the price is very different somewhere else. It makes returns and shipping easier. For example that 500GB Seagate HDD is the same price after $15 code at Newegg. Also look for coupon codes on Newegg as they are not listed in that PCPartPicker. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) If you are running completely stock speeds that power supply would be fine. Assuming you go with the GTX660Ti. The 480 would not run on that. The AMD FX-8320 consumes about 80% more power than an I5 so you have to take that into consideration. Here is another option if you are going with stock speeds adn also one if you intend to overclock. I would actually suggest getting one of the OC power supplies I listed because they are far superior to the stock one I listed, they are both on sale, and they will give you ALOT of upgrade options in the future. A good PSU can pay you back in the future for simply the reuse factor.
stock: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 28, 2012 4:18:09 PM

jay2tall said:
1) DO NOT BUY THAT VIDEO CARD... that is the one thing I will tell you to absolutely not buy. It is 2 generations old, it sucks a ton of power, it's a hair drier, and doesn't hold a candle to the 600 series. For $250 + $20MIR you can get a GTX660Ti that will blow it out of the water and run all your games very well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) I would suggest getting as many components from the same place unless the price is very different somewhere else. It makes returns and shipping easier. For example that 500GB Seagate HDD is the same price after $15 code at Newegg. Also look for coupon codes on Newegg as they are not listed in that PCPartPicker. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) If you are running completely stock speeds that power supply would be fine. Assuming you go with the GTX660Ti. The 480 would not run on that. The AMD FX-8320 consumes about 80% more power than an I5 so you have to take that into consideration. Here is another option if you are going with stock speeds adn also one if you intend to overclock. I would actually suggest getting one of the OC power supplies I listed because they are far superior to the stock one I listed, they are both on sale, and they will give you ALOT of upgrade options in the future. A good PSU can pay you back in the future for simply the reuse factor.
stock: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ach, I meant to update my list to get rid of that gpu, in my edit i fixed it...how's the Radeon HD 7870 instead (note the GTX 660 Ti is one of my top choices). As for the rest of your advice, that seems really helpful, when I decide to actually place in orders, I'll make sure to shop around.
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December 28, 2012 5:27:46 PM

If you're only going to game take a look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/far-cry-3-performan...

I'd get an i5-2310 for $165 and an ASRock H77Pro4 (if not going to SLI) for $70 (both at newegg). Less than $10 more for better gaming performance. I'd recommend an i5 quad over i3 dual since you want to play BF3.
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Best solution

December 28, 2012 5:32:37 PM

I currently have the sapphire 7870 oc edition card and it runs every game that you listed at 1920x1080 max everything and my fps hardly ever gets below 35-40 fps. In terms of XFX... i was looking at the card but there is a chart I saw which I can't seem to find any more but, it shows that the xfx cards for the 7800 series run significantly hotter than the other manufacturers of the same card (gigabyte, asus, sapphire, etc.). My sapphire has the issue where it crashes to a sound loop after 4 or 5 hours of consistent gaming so I would be aware of that and not go for that. If you really want the 7870 then I would go with Asus or gigabyte (make sure the cards can fit in your case as they are quite large and I had to move my hard drive cages in my antec 900 v2 just to fit the sapphire card.) The 660ti is a great card as well and that was also an option on the table for me when building my pc so it just depends on which technology (nvdia or ati) that you prefer to use.

For your current build the power supply you have chosen will suffice. For more 'future proofing, however, I would suggest atleast a 600w or even a 700w. Get atleast 20% more than what you expect your power draw to be because the power supply you have is most efficient when it's not on maximum power draw or little power draw. Always shoot for somewhere in the middle. If you have the cash I would also go with a modular power supply. i can't tell you how many times I have kicked myself for buying a non-modular power supply. My case has unnecessary clutter at the bottom which isn't the best for air flow and it doesn't look the best either lol. ALSO: you might want to consider a power supply with more amps on the 12v rail.Looks like the one you are considering has 40 amps which may or may not be enough. The more the better but, check what you will need based off the parts you buy (sorry that wasn't very specific but, this may help you decide if you have enough: http://forums.anandtech.com/archive/index.php/t-2184209...)

As far as the case goes, personally I would pick something with better cable management. It looks like the case does have it from the pics I'm seeing but those cables aren't completely tied away. And might still be visible even with the motherboard in because of the sparse back plate. Again, not a big issue, more of a personal opinion.

Quick note about the board: I love my asrock board for intel. I assume similar quality would extend to the AMD side so solid choice on that. I know you suggested possibly doing crossfire in the future but, It would serve little advantage to you on this board since the second card would run at x4 and the performance to price on that just doesn't add up. Something to keep in mind if you wanted to crossfire later.

Good luck on the build!
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December 28, 2012 6:14:54 PM

Thanks guys, thanks for the advice on cards, GTX 480 is not an option, but the XFX Radeon HD 7870 (noting heating issue) and GTX 660 Ti are definite options...depending on their prices next month; most likely I'll go ahead and get the 660 Ti. Also, a couple of my friends told me to get a stronger power supply in addition to your advice, so I most likely will future proof this baby just in case. I just have 3 more questions:
My mobo seems kinda inexpensive for what I'm hoping to accomplish...is it good enough for the build I'm doing?
Do I need any more cooling in addition to the built in fans in the case?
And lastly, would the upgrade to the AMD FX- 8350 be a noticeable difference for the $35 price hike?
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December 28, 2012 6:39:36 PM

i believe the only real difference is the 8350 has a base speed of 4.0GHz and a turbo of 4.2GHz. if you are going to spend $180 on a cpu then i would start thinking about intel. you will need a better cpu cooler if you plan on overclocking.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/698?vs=697
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December 28, 2012 8:45:41 PM

Thanks guys for all of the input...but one LAST question. I'm trying to decide between the 660 Ti and the 7870 and I am not sure what this data is saying...both the 660 Ti and the 7870 have their pros and cons in different areas...what does that mean to me? Why are the fps's different for all of these different tests? I'm new to this and don't understand what is going on.
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December 28, 2012 9:24:41 PM

even though its a 7950 review you can look and compare the 2 cards in different games or overall with all the games averaged. they are really close. if it were me and they were the same price i would get the 660ti but it all comes down to prices.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_7950_X2_Boost...
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December 28, 2012 9:51:30 PM

Thanks again...here's what I've decided on ordering when I have my money together:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($185.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z11 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $705.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-28 18:50 EST-0500)

Thanks for all of the great advice guys.
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December 28, 2012 9:53:26 PM

Best answer selected by ruskininja.
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