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My 1st PC Build - Advice please? (:

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January 1, 2013 3:36:03 AM

So I've decided to build my first Gaming PC with the following specs:

Case: Antec 902 v3

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO

CPU: Intel i53570k 3.4Ghz

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

GPU: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) Low profile DDR3 PC3-12800C10 1600MHz Dual channel

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro series 128GB

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM

PSU: Either:

1. Corsair TX-850 V2 850W Enthusiast Series Power Supply Bronze 80+ ($165)

2. Corsair TX-850M Modular Power Supply Bronze 80+ ($175)

I'm so excited! :bounce: 

I've never actually put a PC together before, but so far I haven't encountered any major problems. I'm still waiting on the SSD, HDD, GPU and PSU... Everything else is installed.

Just wondering, are all my components compatible with each other? I've looked around and everything seems to be okay... But my RAM isn't listed in the compatibility chart on the ASUS website. However, i don't think it's been updated to include (2x8GB) channelling yet... Can anyone confirm that my RAM will be fine with my MOBO? Any other compatibility issues?

With regards to the PSU, I'm currently on the waiting list for the Enthusiast Series PSU (because it's $10 cheaper), but I can change at any time. I was wondering what the benefits of having a modular PSU (as opposed to non-modular) are for a first-timer like myself? Keep in mind that, as of yet, I have NO idea how to wire my PC components to the PSU. Also, will all necessary power cables/converters/etc be provided?

Any other recommendations/advice? Thanks!

More about : 1st build advice

a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:40:19 AM

Get 8gb of ram a gtx 670 and a 750W psu.
Related resources
January 1, 2013 3:40:56 AM

Your RAM will work fine. :) 
January 1, 2013 3:41:14 AM

I would avoid that particular cooler. I'm a first time builder as well, hahaha. 1 system to my credit. Not only did that cooler result in a distinct level of blood loss, but I found that it was a huge pain to get on correctly.

Additionally, it hates your RAM slots, which makes building with it challenging. Lower profile RAM might work a bit better, but in my experience the cooler was obstructive at best. I actually ended up going with the Corsair H60. It's a much easier installation, more effective, and I didn't have to bleed to make it work :D 

You might have better luck with the Hyper EVO, and part of that depends on mobo layout (I have a P8Z77-M) but it was difficult, to say the least.

Oh, and in case it doesn't strike you on boot:
If you can't find anything when you're trying to log in on windows but you see the background - make sure your Mobo is set to use your GFX.

My board (P8Z77-M) seemingly believed that my Intel HD graphics were superior to the EVGA 2GB 660ti. You have to lay down the law sometimes, I guess. Additionally: UPDATE THE BIOS.

I'm working under the assumption your board is similar to my own, and I'll tell you this: I had to update the BIOS to get a stable system, as it kept freezing. Little did I know my RAM was severely under-clocked and on the wrong clock values. A BIOS update fixed that.

The build I went with (oddly similar to yours.... hmmmm.)
P8Z77-M Mobo
8GB DDR3 Vengeance RAM 9-9-9-24
1TB Barracuda HDD
2GB EVGA 660Ti
Intel i5-3570K
Corsair 650W PSU (HX650)
Corsair H60 Hydro Cooler
ASUS N15 PCI W/L Card

Antec 302 Case
Some cheap LG Optical drive.

With full four year replacements on all components (sans the H60) it cost just under $1300.00 CAD.
a c 106 B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:48:01 AM

The build looks good, though I can see in a few places you have spent too much and it has detracted from the GPU. I would downgrade the PSU to 650W (if Crossfire/SLI is a concern, get 750W), the mobo to an AsRock Z77 Extreme4 (or ASUS P8Z77-V LK if you want to stick with ASUS) and halve the RAM to 8GB.
Then use the saved cash to upgrade the GPU to a GTX670/HD7970.

Components are all compatible with each other.
Mobo-RAM compatibility lists are a guideline at best, as they usually arent updated beyond when the board releases and usually aren't comprehensive even then. Your RAM will be fine.

A modular PSU allows you to take out the cables you dont need, so you dont have to cable manage them. If you get a fully-modular unit (the 24-pin and 4/8pin ATX power cables are also detachable) then it makes it easy to remove the unit without disturbing any cable management for cleaning.

Everything you need (screws, cables, adapters if need be) will come with their respective parts (usually the case). Only exception would be SATA cables if you have a ton of drives, you may have to buy a 3rd if you get an optical drive. Might want to check how many come with the ASUS board.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:53:06 AM

cball1311 said:
I can see where your coming from bigcyco1 but that's like $100 more than the 660 Ti 3GB for only a touch of performance (8-10 FPS at best). But if the $$$ is there go ahead and do it :D 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review/8
What 660 ti sells for $250 ? I was thinking it's more like $50 more and those benchmarks are not up to date
:na:  if the 660 ti is only $250 -$275 go for it. If it's $300 or more might as well get the 670 lol.
January 1, 2013 3:57:39 AM

manofchalk said:
The build looks good, though I can see in a few places you have spent too much and it has detracted from the GPU. I would downgrade the PSU to 650W (if Crossfire/SLI is a concern, get 750W), the mobo to an AsRock Z77 Extreme4 (or ASUS P8Z77-V LK if you want to stick with ASUS) and halve the RAM to 8GB.
Then use the saved cash to upgrade the GPU to a GTX670/HD7970.

Components are all compatible with each other.
Mobo-RAM compatibility lists are a guideline at best, as they usually arent updated beyond when the board releases and usually aren't comprehensive even then. Your RAM will be fine.

A modular PSU allows you to take out the cables you dont need, so you dont have to cable manage them. If you get a fully-modular unit (the 24-pin and 4/8pin ATX power cables are also detachable) then it makes it easy to remove the unit without disturbing any cable management for cleaning.

Everything you need (screws, cables, adapters if need be) will come with their respective parts (usually the case). Only exception would be SATA cables if you have a ton of drives, you may have to buy a 3rd if you get an optical drive. Might want to check how many come with the ASUS board.


Thanks! I'll definitely downgrade the PSU wattage! I don't know about reimbursing the money into the GTX670 as it costs quite a lot more (especially since I'm from Australia, where they multiply the US price by 130% even though AUD>USD at the moment..). That being said, is a standard 2GB GTX 670 that much better than a 3GB GTX660 Ti?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:59:48 AM

AntarcticHorizon said:
Thanks! I'll definitely downgrade the PSU wattage! I don't know about reimbursing the money into the GTX670 as it costs quite a lot more (especially since I'm from Australia, where they multiply the US price by 130% even though AUD>USD at the moment..). That being said, is a standard 2GB GTX 670 that much better than a 3GB GTX660 Ti?
If your in Australia get the cheapest option i know how they rob you over there my god. :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:01:03 AM

manofchalk is from Australia wait for him to reply again.
January 1, 2013 4:03:30 AM

bigcyco1 said:
If your in Australia get the cheapest option i know how they rob you over there my god. :( 


HAHA I KNOW! When I first did my budgeting I was looking at US prices... I got so excited! Then I checked the Australian prices and... :cry: 
January 1, 2013 4:06:34 AM

I think everyone reading you're Aussie will have a sudden drop in spirits. It is painful being an Aussie power user, if costs are indicative.
a c 106 B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:09:58 AM

An Aussie!
In that case I have some tips for you.

Corsair and Seasonic are well known PSU brands, hence why they are ridiculously expensive down here. So you have to turn to some less well known brands for a PSU.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Thats an 80+ Silver unit that is fully modular, and is cheaper than its equivalent Corsair. According to reviews its actually closer to Gold than Silver and is of good quality.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/911

In Australia Nvidia is a bit overpriced, a 670 costs about the same as a 7970. Better off going AMD.
Also ASUS in general is pretty expensive down here.

Where are you in Australia? I know some stores along the east coast, mainly in Melbourne.
January 1, 2013 4:10:02 AM

Proclaim89 said:
Your RAM will work fine. :) 


Biggest sigh of relief when I got this reply.. Thanks <3
January 1, 2013 4:17:16 AM

manofchalk said:
An Aussie!
In that case I have some tips for you.

Corsair and Seasonic are well known PSU brands, hence why they are ridiculously expensive down here. So you have to turn to some less well known brands for a PSU.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Thats an 80+ Silver unit that is fully modular, and is cheaper than its equivalent Corsair. According to reviews its actually closer to Gold than Silver and is of good quality.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/911

In Australia Nvidia is a bit overpriced, a 670 costs about the same as a 7970. Better off going AMD.
Also ASUS in general is pretty expensive down here.

Where are you in Australia? I know some stores along the east coast, mainly in Melbourne.


Wow thanks! I'll look into it. Unfortunately I'm from Sydney... But I'll shop around!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:19:38 AM

cball1311 said:
Well, here is a 3GB 660 Ti $279 after MIR
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=75197&vpn=03G-P4-3661-KR&manufacture=eVGA&promoid=1033

And a 2GB for $239 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127711

And a GPU is a GPU, they don't get better over time. So you're telling me that drivers will increase the performance of a card and benchmarks can become "outdated" :lol: 
Yes drivers can increase performance are you :pt1cable:  you should look into it. ;) 
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:24:06 AM

The 660 ti or 7950 are fine for gaming you will be able to play pretty much everything you throw at it at high to ultra settings 1080p.
January 1, 2013 4:27:07 AM

I can vouch for the former. That's what I'm packing and it does everything under the sun. Even ArmA 2 at high settings with a high framerate. I have yet to try emulators though.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:30:20 AM

manofchalk said:
^ umm, yes.

Catalyst 12.7 put the 7970 back on top for the fastest single GPU card.
Catalyst 12.11 pretty much boosted the performance of the entire 7000 series between 5-8%.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...


Ok. I do understand that performance increases are minimal with driver updates but on a whole, your not going to get a significant increase when you can save $75-100 on build day. No hard feelings, just a topic for debate. That's all. I just try to give the best advice for the OP instead of throwing something at them that is out of there budget. I respect both you and bigcyco1 but have the OP in mind as well.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:45:22 AM

WOW!! You weren't lying about Aussie prices! I'd go for the 660 Ti.

a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:49:28 AM

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X would be my choice between the two because HD 7950 boost makes 7950 faster a little bit than GTX 660ti,.

both cards perform almost the same unless the game is specifically tweak to favor one of the architecture. If you play at 1080p both will give you good result in most games. If you still can't decide which card to take try looking at the games that you play or specific features that you want. If cost really matter to you then you might want to go with whatever is cheaper to you.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:59:15 AM

This might help http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/27/nvidia_geforc... Quote: GALAXY GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB vs. Radeon HD 7950 w/Boost

After we tested the 2GB GTX 660 Ti against the 2GB GTX 670 to see what the 33% memory bandwidth difference does in games, we then wanted to find out how the 3GB card compares to 3GB completion with the new clock configuration. We used a GALAXY GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB video card in comparison to a Radeon HD 7950 3GB w/Boost video card. We also used the new PowerTune with Boost on the Radeon HD 7950 to benefit from AMD's new clocks speeds in gaming of 925MHz.

When we look at the specifications between both video cards we find that the Radeon HD 7950 has a 66% memory bandwidth advantage. The Radeon HD 7950 has a 384-bit memory bus with 240GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The GALAXY GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB has a 192-bit memory bus with 144GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The Radeon HD 7950 has 66% more memory bandwidth than the GALAXY GTX 660 Ti. The AA performance results we tested though didn't show this, and in fact reinforce how memory bandwidth and bus width is not everything in gaming.

Our performance results were not too far apart in most of our gaming between the Radeon HD 7950 w/Boost and GALAXY GTX 660 Ti GC at high AA settings. We often found both video cards with fewer than 10% performance difference. We saw a few instances where the Radeon HD 7950 w/Boost was faster, and we even saw a few instances where the GALAXY GTX 660 Ti GC was faster at higher settings. So much for the extreme memory bandwidth advantage on the Radeon HD 7950.

So what does it all mean? It means that there is more to performance than just the width of the memory bus and the bandwidth available to the memory. There are other factors involved that determine gaming performance, and the widest memory bus with the most bandwidth isn't always going to be the winner in actual gaming performance.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 5:07:17 AM

That's why I respect you bigcyco1 :D  . Nice reply and Happy New Year!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 5:16:19 AM

cball1311 said:
That's why I respect you bigcyco1 :D  . Nice reply and Happy New Year!
Thanks bud. Happy New Year! :) 
January 1, 2013 7:11:30 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X would be my choice between the two because HD 7950 boost makes 7950 faster a little bit than GTX 660ti,.

both cards perform almost the same unless the game is specifically tweak to favor one of the architecture. If you play at 1080p both will give you good result in most games. If you still can't decide which card to take try looking at the games that you play or specific features that you want. If cost really matter to you then you might want to go with whatever is cheaper to you.


Thanks for the recommendation, after extensive research I can see why the 7950 is overall a better GPU. However, given that I'm mainly going to be playing starcraft 2, the 660Ti is a better option. Apparently even the 2GB GTX 660Ti is better than the 3GB HD 7950 for starcraft 2. :S It's a shame though, I would've liked to save the extra few dollars.

Source: http://www.pcgameshardware.de/screenshots/original/2012...
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 7:17:07 AM

No problem.Happy new year enjoy!
January 1, 2013 7:21:32 AM

Less CPU... more GPU.
January 1, 2013 7:41:44 AM

AntarcticHorizon said:
Okay so given the information provided (which I thank you all for!), I guess I'm choosing between these two cards:

1. http://www.mwave.com.au/product/sku-aa77663-galaxy_gefo...

and

2. http://www.mwave.com.au/product/sku-ab47634-sapphire_ra...

The price difference is close to negligible to me, and I'll mostly be playing Starcraft 2 if that changes anything! Which should I go for?


Found an XFX 7950 for $339 @ this store in Melbourne:

http://www.centrecom.com.au/catalog/795a-tnfc-radeon-79...

and a Gigabyte 7950 for $325 at the same store:

http://www.centrecom.com.au/catalog/r795wf3-gigabyte-ra...

Up to you which one you want to go for. Happy New Year! :) 
!