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Hello all! My first build in 8 years. Help me out!

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January 8, 2013 3:39:51 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within the next few days

Budget Range: Hopefully staying around $2000.00

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (New games: Assasins creed III, Sleeping Dogs, fc3, Natural Selection II, etc etc), Photo Editing (Lightroom with huge catalog, photoshop, others), Movies, Internets, Potential for video editing

Are you buying a monitor: No (Possibly a second monitor in future)

Parts to Upgrade: Total Build, no peripherals.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canadian websites, or any that ship to Canada and where savings still beats customs fee.

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU preference. No preference for mobo or card.

Overclocking: Yes, I would like to get into overclocking. Definitely a beginner though. My last build circa 2005ish I did not overclock. I plan on learning with this build.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes. Not a necessity for two cards right now if single card has better value at this time and allows for upgrade to crossfire in future.

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560x1440 (Dell U2713HM)

Additional Comments: I'll just put my questions here:

- I'm thinking of switching to a Noctua NH-D14 Air cooler instead of the Corsair closed loop water cooler. Are people trending away from these now? I'm not confident enough to get into full water cooling system. Not sure if the closed loops are just seen as a bit novelty or not.

-Current case I like for being simple, sleek and of course silent. Should I be looking for something with better airflow? Will I have problems fitting anything in it?

- I am an amateur photographer. I have tens of thousands of photos... ie why I was thinking 16gb RAM. Should help with loading Adobe Lightroom catalogs and previews no? Or am I way off base here.

- Having trouble with video card. Are there other better options for similar price range? Could I get away with a lesser card? I know nothing about the brands for ATI... should I be looking at certain brands?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've been travelling for the last year. Currently I only have a small laptop I used travelling. My last tower died before I left. Not worth upgrade/fix (old parts). Looking forward to getting back into gaming. Also need a powerful computer for smooth photo editing to go along with my monitor.


Here is what I've put together so far (assuming PC Part Picker is acceptable). Pick it apart!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.90 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($114.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($192.99 @ Computer Valley)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($358.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($358.79 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($141.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $2012.19
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-08 12:35 EST-0500)

More about : build years

January 8, 2013 4:28:29 PM

Nice list you got there, you can get a blu ray optical drive so you can watch blu rays on your pc since its such a beast with two 7970's >_< other than that I would not change anything
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January 8, 2013 4:36:48 PM

if one video card doesnt get the settings you wanted, get another
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January 8, 2013 5:02:14 PM

TheBigTroll said:
-buy the case at memory express. you can pick it up locally to save on shipping. it weighs a lot
-video card can be price beaten as well to save shipping
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX40316http://www...

id get this
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/wxue


AH. Great advice with the case (and the price matching). I will do that. In-fact maybe I'll do that for a few parts if they have them in stock...

I'm still mulling over video cards. I'm now leaning to one 7970 and upgrading to 2 later.

Also. I just noticed this post on buildapc:

http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/166s2f/tip_fo...

Perhaps I will wait a week before purchase.
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January 8, 2013 5:03:51 PM

alvine said:
Nice list you got there, you can get a blu ray optical drive so you can watch blu rays on your pc since its such a beast with two 7970's >_< other than that I would not change anything


Good advice, though not sure if I have the need right now. I don't own any blurays or plan on really buying any.
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January 8, 2013 6:21:19 PM

if your going to play a blueray you really dont want to be sitting at your computer desk watching it anyway. I generally stay away from seagate drives, never had any luck with them, used to build computers for a manufacturer and saw more seagate die catastrophically than any other brand. i always use WD now and dont have problems.
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January 8, 2013 6:43:50 PM

i hardly use WD. bad luck with them.

anything launched at CES means its going to come to the market at a pretty high price and wont be avaliable for a couple more months. dont bother
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January 8, 2013 9:20:46 PM

Any advice on choosing a specific brand of the 7970?

My latest revisison:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.90 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($68.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($79.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: A-Data XPG SX900 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1558.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-08 18:12 EST-0500)

-Switched to Noctura D14 for cooling.

-Kept the MSI Z77A-Gd65 Mobo.

-Considering one 7970 for now, upgrade to xfire in future.

- Keeping 850W PSU For xfire upgrade.

- Keeping the Seagate for now... WD option is nearly $200 more.
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Best solution

January 8, 2013 11:53:32 PM

id change the motherboard. gigabyte has much better vrm solution. pretty much the best you can get actually

the 7950 is easily overclocked to 7970 and beyond. like easily. note that a 7950 can max out your games for the most part. and the one you chose has the reference design, which is pretty bad.
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January 9, 2013 5:31:25 AM

Alright here is where I am at:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.90 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($68.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($70.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: A-Data XPG SX900 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1514.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 02:27 EST-0500)

- I'm sold on the Gigabyte board now. Will OC the 7950 and see how it goes. Likely double up down the road.

- Changed the RAM out for another GSkill Ripjaw, at 1866 frequency and a slightly lower latency for 10 dollars less. Noctura website says clearance should be fine (phew)

- Being conservative with the PSU. Hoping it will carry over to my next build.
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January 9, 2013 5:32:36 AM

Also, unfortunately that case is sold out at memory express (online and in my region). I may have to choose another case or eat the shipping cost.
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January 9, 2013 9:24:31 AM

I'm not familiar with the SSD. Have you seen a good review? What controller is it? I would normally recommend Samsung, Crucial, Intel, or perhaps the newest OCZ.
Other than that I have no objections.
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January 9, 2013 9:51:16 AM

its a sandforce but with raise error correction turned off
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January 9, 2013 6:49:44 PM

that kingston is pretttty old
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January 10, 2013 6:36:36 AM

That's true. Honestly, since he's already saved quite a bit and there's no big budget restraint, I think a Samsung 840 or Crucial M4 would be better choices. Both have good track records and are very good performers.
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January 11, 2013 7:19:29 PM

Excellent. Pretty much there. Thanks for all the advice! I will post final build once I find out if everyone has the parts I need and have purchased.
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January 11, 2013 7:54:19 PM

Best answer selected by meldron.
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!