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Check my potential rig, what do you guys think?

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January 2, 2013 12:10:26 PM

Hello, I'm building my first PC from scratch and being new to all this I wanted to run what I have brainstormed so far by people with more experience and knowledge about the components before I make a final decision.

I did a day or two's worth of research on most items individually but I want to get a read on how everything will work together.
This is what I have so far:

- Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Intel Mainboard LGA 1155
- Intel Core i5 3570K LGA 1155
_ eVGA nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB Super Clocked
- Kingston DDR 3 8GB (2x4GB) PC 12800/1600 CL9 HyperX RAM (May go with a 2x8 16GB Kingston instead)
- Thermaltake Litepower 700W
- SeaGate Barracuda 1TB
- Kingston 120GB HyperX 3K SSD
- ASUS VS248H WS LED

I am happy with the price as it is but won't mind if I have to go the extra $100 or so to get a system that works in sync. Let me know if you think it's a bit everywhere and suggest what I should change as I am aware I may have over done it in some areas. My aim to is to get the most out of the units and have it work together well overall.
It will be used primarily for gaming of various types (I play LoL which I know isn't at all very demanding but also Fallout, Skyrim, XCOM, Farcry 3) but streaming and downloading as a close secondary.

Let me know if there are any more details that could help.

Thanks a lot in advance!



January 2, 2013 7:15:09 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Buwish
January 2, 2013 7:31:36 PM

Swap the thermaltake psu with something like a Seasonic S12II 520/620 or corsair tx650

Other than that, everything else looks pretty good. If you want to overclock your cpu however, get an aftermarket cooler like a CM Hyper 212+, Scythe Mugen 2, Thermaltake Frio or Noctua D14. Those orders are from good to best
Related resources
January 2, 2013 11:52:29 PM

EzioAs said:
Swap the thermaltake psu with something like a Seasonic S12II 520/620 or corsair tx650

Other than that, everything else looks pretty good. If you want to overclock your cpu however, get an aftermarket cooler like a CM Hyper 212+, Scythe Mugen 2, Thermaltake Frio or Noctua D14. Those orders are from good to best


Thank you for your input, good to know I was on the right track and I will take your advice!

TheBigTroll said:
get this instead
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vxPH

if you dont overclock, you can save almost a 100 dollars, just putting that out there


Hey I appreciate you taking the time to have a detailed look mate, but if you don't mind me asking, is that your view on what I already have? That I should change almost everything? Or are you primarily trying to save me a bit of cash?

As I said I did a fair bit of research on the main components before I made any decisions and part of building this for me is also a learning experience so if you could justify the changes for me that would really help me get a better understanding. Thanks for your time!
January 3, 2013 1:41:34 PM

yes,im kind of saying that you should change most if not all the components.

heres why

--i changed the motherboard as you arent going to put more video cards into that rig in the future. if you were, you would have chosen a SLI motherboard.
-kingston ram is usually 1.65v, which is over the intel recommended spec of 1.5v and under. if you go over, you may risk your warranty
-thermal take doesnt make good power supplies on the calber of seasonic based units like the xfx
-the galaxy gtx 660 cools WAY better than a evga card. its a matter of 10c or more
-i chose a better performing and cheaperSSD
-i recommended a smaller, yet the same amout of pixels version of the vs248q. more pixel density= sharper images


ill probably have to change the ram to something cheaper as the prices just went up for that particular kit
January 4, 2013 3:53:04 AM

Ok I should have probably given more details because now I see it makes a difference

I live in Victoria, Australia so automatically there is a drastic change in pricing and availability. Even PCPARTPICKER.com doesn't show some AU websites and items that I'm certain are available so unfortunately that is compromised.
I did make some adjustments: (This time I will add AU pricing to give you a better gauge on things.)

EDIT: I was going to go with an ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M but I found out some things about it that didn't impress me at all looks like I'm sticking with the Gigabyte Z77MX at $104.

- Added a CM 412 Sleeve on the i5 3570K. (CPU: $228 Cooler: $45)

- Swapped the memory to Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9W (1.35v). $59
**(Is it at all worth getting 16GB? Or upgrading higher MHz?)**

- I think I will stick with the Kingston 120GB HyperX 3K SSD, it will only cost me $93.
I saw that is more expensive where you are so I understand your reason to want to alter it. If you still think it is absolutely necessary to spend $6 more for the SanDisk then I will but they are pretty much the same.

- Changed the power supply to a much better SeaSonic M12II 520W, which is the modular version. $109
PCPP.com has that neat Estimated Wattage in the corner which shows 300 watts and 439 watts if I ever went Dual SLI. <<**(Does that sound right? I saw a few people insist on needing larger PSU for multiple GPUs.)**

- I totally agree with your reasoning on the ASUS Monitor and tried to find a 22" version here but I couldn't. And there aren't any 22"s that have 2ms (Yes, I know that is only the Grey-to-Grey rating, the VS248H actually has 5ms.) $187

- As soon as I started considering the eVGA GPU ($258), I noticed straight away the design and wondered whether it's cooling suffered compared to other makes. I really liked the fan design compared to the standard fans used on most units and was attracted to the overall look. The cooling itself uses a slightly different method of actually dispensing hot air through one side. I thought it was a good thing since I could make allowances in room for that hot air to leave the case and not blow hot air all over the place where other components are. (I could be completely off with this, it's just what I was thinking.)
I definately made a point of researching it and in the reviews nothing stood out about higher temperatures than other units. I would love to see what you read about there being a 10C (Celsius?) difference as that is quite significant.
My backup plan was a Gigabyte nVidia GTX 660 2GB OC (N660OC-2GD) at $237, the Galaxy version you suggested doesn't exist here, I cannot find one.

Altogether it will cost me $1174. I am happy with the price and have left room for some alterations/addons, not exceeding $1300 if I can help it.
Hope this explains things a bit more. Is this build any better? I look forward to your response!

P.S: When you said: "if you dont overclock, you can save almost a 100 dollars.." what was that in primary relation to?
January 4, 2013 4:49:37 AM

For single card 520W is enough and the seasonic psu is a good choice. If you ever plan on going multi-gpu later though, i suggest something like a corsair tx650 v2.

Blower design coolers like EVGA cards works better if you don't have side vents. The temps will be higher than on dual fan coolers but it will still be fine.

If you don't overclock, there are parts you can change will save some money like the i5-3470 instead of a 3570K, an H77/B75 motherboard instead of Z77 and you can get by without buying an aftermarket cooler. These 3 parts alone can save you around $100 and makes more sense if you're not overclocking.

January 4, 2013 11:05:47 AM

you are probably better off with the gigabyte card then. open coolers will be much cooler than a evga design

a 520w is enough for a single card setup.

the grey to grey rating is meaningless. dont shop for a monitor like that

1600mhz is fine. im pretty sure gskill is cheaper in australia but ok. dont get higher mhz ram. its useless
January 4, 2013 11:42:24 AM

Can I suggest a Radeon card here or will I get pounced on?
January 4, 2013 11:50:30 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
Can I suggest a Radeon card here or will I get pounced on?


Why would you get pounced by suggesting a competing solution? :??: 
January 4, 2013 12:00:03 PM

Fanboyism is a powerful thing.

Anywho.

go for a 7870 or a 7950.

radeon cards get higher fps for the money.. BUT. nVidia cards have a lower/higher (not 100% sure which one is actually better, but its the better one >-<) latency, which basically means the last frame in a second renders smoother. so a nVidia card running at 45 fps will look similar/better than a radeon card running at 50-55 fps. But if the frame difference/price is higher than 15-20 you probably won't notice. I have a 7970 and don't notice anything, but that's a 450$ card, as the 7870 is 240$ and the 7950 is 300$

but once again, what radeon has to offer is higher fps, as an OC'd 7950 rapes the 670.
January 4, 2013 12:19:59 PM


If you don't overclock, there are parts you can change will save some money like the i5-3470 instead of a 3570K, an H77/B75 motherboard instead of Z77 and you can get by without buying an aftermarket cooler. These 3 parts alone can save you around $100 and makes more sense if you're not overclocking. said:
If you don't overclock, there are parts you can change will save some money like the i5-3470 instead of a 3570K, an H77/B75 motherboard instead of Z77 and you can get by without buying an aftermarket cooler. These 3 parts alone can save you around $100 and makes more sense if you're not overclocking.


Ok well an i5 3550 will cost $195, only $5 more than an i5 3470, has roughly the same performance but has the ability to overclock, which I may or may not use, but what the heck for $5. That saves me $35. I will only need an aftermarket CPU cooler if I do choose to overclock right? And if it comes to it I can just buy one when I need it? That will save me another $45.

Blower design coolers like EVGA cards works better if you don't have side vents. said:
Blower design coolers like EVGA cards works better if you don't have side vents.

Could you explain this a little more? It's not the end of the world for me to go with the dual fan Gigabyte if you think it would be better. There is a $21 price difference on those.

The main thing I am having a bit of trouble with at the moment is the motherboard. There are negative aspects of almost every brand and I have no idea which of those aspects are actually significant. I was settled on the ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M, loved the look of the ASRock software features, but they use analog VRMs which are hardly used these days and for good reason. I think I'll go for the Gigabyte Z77MX like I said I would, it's performance proved to be very good against other models based on detailed reviews, some of higher price and reputation, only downside was things like BIOS software and some customer performance complaints. No actual hardware issues seems pretty good to me. At $104 I think it's okay, even though 1155s will apparently die out soon/are already dead and probably won't be used at all by the time I'm ready for my next build.
January 4, 2013 12:29:58 PM

Your motherboard choice is fine.

An i5-3550/3470/3450 are limited in overclocking. You're limited to base clock adjustments and they don't have unlocked multiplier. The ones that feature unlock multipliers are "k" series cpu (3770K, 3570K). If you want to overclock, get the 3570K.

On the graphics card, non blower design coolers (gigabyte windforce, msi twin frozr, asus dcuii) cools better but since they exhaust most of the heat in the case, you'll need to have a proper ventilated case with top vents (and/or side vents) so the heat isn't trapped in the case. Blower design coolers however exhaust all the heat through the back of the case (at the I/O bracket) which is better if you don't have a proper ventilated case.

I hope that answers your question.

January 4, 2013 12:50:28 PM

On the graphics card, non blower design coolers (gigabyte windforce, msi twin frozr, asus dcuii) cools better but since they exhaust most of the heat in the case, you'll need to have a proper ventilated case with top vents (and/or side vents) so the heat isn't trapped in the case. Blower design coolers however exhaust all the heat through the back of the case (at the I/O bracket) which is better if you don't have a proper ventilated case.

I hope that answers your question. said:
On the graphics card, non blower design coolers (gigabyte windforce, msi twin frozr, asus dcuii) cools better but since they exhaust most of the heat in the case, you'll need to have a proper ventilated case with top vents (and/or side vents) so the heat isn't trapped in the case. Blower design coolers however exhaust all the heat through the back of the case (at the I/O bracket) which is better if you don't have a proper ventilated case.

I hope that answers your question.


Yes, it does answer it. That is what I assumed. By being 'well-ventilated' do you mean having plenty of case fans? (The BitFenix Shinobi I will likely buy is the windowed version.) Or will it mean being without the extra fans will suffice?

Zed_Spooge said:
Fanboyism is a powerful thing.

Anywho.

go for a 7870 or a 7950.

radeon cards get higher fps for the money.. BUT. nVidia cards have a lower/higher (not 100% sure which one is actually better, but its the better one >-<) latency, which basically means the last frame in a second renders smoother. so a nVidia card running at 45 fps will look similar/better than a radeon card running at 50-55 fps. But if the frame difference/price is higher than 15-20 you probably won't notice. I have a 7970 and don't notice anything, but that's a 450$ card, as the 7870 is 240$ and the 7950 is 300$

but once again, what radeon has to offer is higher fps, as an OC'd 7950 rapes the 670.


Not sure if it's worth going higher in price to be honest. At the moment, going a little cheaper to the Gigabyte version of the GTX 660 is a high possibility, costing me $237. Plus now that I'm slightly downgrading my CPU it would seem pointless to go for a more expensive GPU wouldn't it? Nothing against the Radeons. I have had both but to me it felt like the low class nVidia GPU (Not exactly sure which one) that my dad got with his shitty NEC PC, (I told him..) runs better than the 6770 I have now, although that could be because it's a laptop (Don't kill me, I got a MacBook Pro with i7 for $800 through my university and ran it through bootcamp. That is now what I am aiming to replace.)
January 4, 2013 12:53:41 PM

If you're using the shinobi, non-blower coolers are fine. I would recommend you install fans on the front of the case as intakes and on the top of the case for exhaust.

A GTX660 is a fine choice really, especially if you can't afford an HD7870. Their performance are too close sometimes that to be honest, doesn't make much sense to pay more but that also depends on the games you play. If you want to overclock your graphics card though and get the most bang for your buck, 7850, 7870, 7950 and 7970 overclocks better than Nvidia 600 series
January 4, 2013 1:19:47 PM

7870 Is pretty much the same cost here.. where do you live where a 7870 is crazy more expensive than a 660?
January 4, 2013 2:26:54 PM

Zed_Spooge said:
7870 Is pretty much the same cost here.. where do you live where a 7870 is crazy more expensive than a 660?


I was more referring to the 7950. Is there any real reason why I should choose either of them? (Pros + Cons? GTX 660 vs. Radeon 7870?) The Radeon may be better for overclocking, but after downgrading to the i5 3550 will it make any significant difference? I am honestly cool with either one, but I would rather go for one that contains the features I need and as little as possible of the features I don't. A solid argument on either would help although they are very, very close in performance. The only thing I know that looks good on the GTX is Adaptive V-Sync, but having the Z77MX with the Virtu software (Have seen reports of some problems with this software) contains it's own version of that, so I have it either way.

I would recommend you install fans on the front of the case as intakes and on the top of the case for exhaust. said:
I would recommend you install fans on the front of the case as intakes and on the top of the case for exhaust.


Does this (Intake/Exhaust) require a reverse in the direction of the fans? (I'm assuming on one side blows air one direction and filp sided blows in the other) Sorry if this is a really amateur question.. :/ 
January 4, 2013 2:31:18 PM

Virtu MVP sucks, I'll tell you that much. And Nvidia adaptive v-sync is awesome, I really like this feature. AMD 7870 overclocks better, but if you're not overclocking your video card, it really doesn't matter.
January 4, 2013 2:31:20 PM

the 7950 is comparable to the 660ti. just pick one

the radeon cards perform better for the money and come with free games. you do lose adaptive v-sync and all that stuff. i dont use it though so id go with radeon.
January 4, 2013 3:27:20 PM

EzioAs said:
Virtu MVP sucks, I'll tell you that much.

I've read the same. Looks really good in the sample video, too good to be true with the results it pulls. But something with the actual power and performance it supposedly gives should be worth double the price.

Another proposition. Now that I have shaved of some of the cost, should I upgrade to the Radeon 7950? Is it too much for the i5 3550? (Last thing I want is a bottleneck) If so, is the cheapest unit, the: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 Overclocked (GV-R795WF3-3GD) decent enough at $325?
January 4, 2013 3:32:09 PM

Decent? More like great actually. And don't worry, the 3550 won't bottleneck the 7950 or other high end cards above it. You're more likely to run into gpu bottleneck first before you run into a cpu bottleneck at 1080p
January 5, 2013 4:21:00 AM

what radeon has to offer is higher fps, as an OC'd 7950 rapes the 670. said:
what radeon has to offer is higher fps, as an OC'd 7950 rapes the 670.


The main reason I would switch now was that^
It definitely caught my eye. That is a rather big call and I had to research further.

I looked at more detailed reviews on this and the only way this was possible was "With a hefty (and I mean hefty) OC the 7950 can keep up and surpass in select titles.."
An exact test of this 'hefty' overclock shows how both performed. (The 7950 especially was clocked higher than I would ever be able to get it without a lot more experience, and is a rather expensive version that proved difficult to find.)
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_66...

Then I fell on these: http://www.hardocp.com/image.html?image=MTMzNjkwMDMwOEN... (There are a few images, scroll down for next and previous.) Which show the 7950 does quite well considering Tier and price difference.

Only thing is it kind of feels like I should only get a Radeon if my intent is to overclock it. **(Another noob question, but I have to make sure: GPU overclocking is entirely different to CPU overclocking right? OCing a GPU will not at all affect other components?)**
I then wanted to compare the 7950 against something in it's price tier as I don't think I really want to overclock and void the warranty just yet.
Found a perfect test for that including the original GPU I wanted when I first started my build, the GTX 660 Ti.
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

Not sure exactly why I decided against it and downgrade to the 660, but I think because each of them will do the job fine and I was better off saving money for other parts. That doesn't matter now as I have more money to spend, and unlike the CPU and Mobo I may not have to change my GPU for my next build.

That pretty much settles it for me.

What the build looks like now:

- BitFenix Shinobi w/ Side Window
- Intel CPU Core i5-3550
- Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H
- Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB OC
- Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9
- Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD
- SeaSonic M12II 520W PSU **(One website is telling me the G-B 660 Ti needs 550W of power, whereas the actual G-B website is telling me 450W? Should I spend $20 extra just to be safe and get the 620W? PCPartPicker.com is giving me an estimated wattage of around 300W for this build. How accurate is it? Which is correct?)**
- Dell 21.5" S2240L LED IPS Monitor

Thank you all so much for your help and patience too, you guys have been great! :) 

January 5, 2013 8:02:19 AM

That power supply is more than enough for that build. No need to change it.
!