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First New Build High-Gaming+ - advice please

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January 16, 2013 9:02:45 PM

Hey guys,

Looking to build my first PC, little nervous and need some advice since I am indeed a beginner. Excited to learn though so any help, be it component advice or advice on the physical building part of this, would be gratefully recieved :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month.

Budget Range: £1500 ish, inc shipping+tax, excl monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editting+rendering, 3d modelling, media playing, other graphics work, usually a multitasking combination of those.

Are you buying a monitor: Maybe

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I dislike buying online so ideally Amazon, but I will likely got with Newegg in the end. I can trust them right? :D 

Location: London, UK

Parts Preferences: NOT AMD. I am aware there are some possibly cheaper AMD graphics cards I could go for, but I have had a horrible time with them on my current laptop and previous desktop. I am going NVIDIA.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: If you think that would be better, I am open to it.

Your Monitor Resolution: Atm I have 2 1680x1050 screens but I may or may not upgrade those, largely depending on price I guess.

Additional Comments: I am aware of workstation graphics cards and that they are better suited for 3d modelling, and I considered going down that route for my renderings / modeling needs, but since my modelling is limited and I do want to game and GTX cards should handle Adode products fine, I am going with that.

Also please note, I dont really want to overclock and I am looking for a system that will by and large not require me to do much to it. I.E. I want it to last, not to buy a cheap component that is going to fail after a year.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My 3 year old laptop just isnt up to anything anymore. I can game on lowest settings at about 25 FPS till it overheats, it renders slowly, 3d models slooowly and is very limited, I dual screen with it and it doesnt much enjoy that, its just generally not up for any graphics intensive task which is all I use it for be it work or play and my god does it overheat (yes I got it a cooling stand). I cant run more than 30 mins doing anything without its stand :p 

Thanks in advance!
__________________________________________

This is what I came up with so far, mostly by looking at the "Intel-Based High-End system" Poll that is stickied, and reading some existing posts.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: TUNIQ Tower 120 Extreme 90.7 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($180.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($559.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($146.76 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($189.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1682.63
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-16 17:51 EST-0500)
January 16, 2013 9:17:58 PM

A few points I noticed straight away.

- You can save about £25 by getting the i7-3770 instead of the i7-3770k. The only difference is that you can't overclock the non-K which you don't plan to do anyway.

- If you aren't overclocking there is no need to buy an after-market CPU cooler. The provided Intel cooling fan will be sufficient.

- I would go for a different PSU. That one is expensive and Cooler Master aren't regarded very highly for their PSU's. I would recommend one of these Corsair TXM 850W. Better quality and cheaper.
January 16, 2013 9:19:03 PM

Good build overall, but a few things:

- For gaming you don't need an i7 or 16 GB RAM. You could get 8 GB (2x4GB) and the i5 3570k and have essentially the same performance.
- That's way too much PSU for your build. 750W would easily power that and have tons and tons to spare.
- Consider going with the 7970 Ghz edition for that much money, or get a 4 GB 670 and save some cash, since it's not far behind the 680 performance-wise.
Related resources
January 16, 2013 9:25:35 PM

Aha.. Thanks for that casper. I'll do those :) 

Thanks JMer. Yeah I read that i5 wasnt needed for gaming, but was recomended for workstation builds. I know this is not a workstation build, but I will be using it for rendering / modelling, which is why I put it in. Still this i5 is enough though?

I'll look into the 4gb 670, but I am not going AMD as I mentioned in my post ^_^

Thanks!

January 16, 2013 9:37:41 PM

I re-created your list only using Amazon and Ebuyer (and added my suggestions in :p ).
Had to change the RAM and SSD due to availability. Oh and the case is slightly different too.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£217.94 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£149.98 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£66.75 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.48 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£79.00 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card (£445.22 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Optical Drive: Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD/CD Writer (£20.87 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £1127.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-16 23:34 GMT+0000)


Anyway that gives a better idea of price.
May be worth getting a larger SSD with the money saved. By the time you install Windows and all your programs you are down to under 100GB.
January 16, 2013 9:41:02 PM

Interesting interesting. So I definately dont need cooling?

Also since I still have a whole £400 I could spend... What is a nice Opticial Drive that will let me play blu-ray? ^^

And one more thing.. you made it display the price in pounds not dollars... HOW!@!

Thanks!
January 16, 2013 10:04:25 PM

Top right hand corner you can change United States to United Kingdom :)  And if you make an account you can choose which stores it searches too.

If you get the retail version of the CPU (as opposed to the OEM version) it comes with a heatsink and fan. It's only when you overclock that you need to replace this with something more efficient.

I don't know much about optical drives to be honest. I don't use them enough to care about performance and speeds etc. If I were to suggest one I would just be picking at random :) 
January 16, 2013 10:11:06 PM

Are you gaming on a single monitor? A 2GB 670 will max out any game out there. (My fairly overclocked 670 maxxes pretty much any game at 120fps.) I'd get an overclockable CPU and a cooler, but that's just me. (Also, I do a bit of 3d rendering as a hobby, and my i5-3570k doesn't feel slow at all. Up to you.)

Don't get a 840 non-pro SSD, by the way. They're made with a crappy form of NAND, and aren't reliable nor fast. If you want the best on the market, it's the 840 pro - if you want value, get the OCZ Vertex 4. (And yes, it's reliable.)

Even if you have the money to spend, why not pocket it rather than spend it? Buying a blu-ray drive really isn't going to get you any benefit - you'd probably rather watch blu-ray on your TV anyways, and they're way overpriced.
January 16, 2013 10:19:12 PM

Thanks for the reply Dark, I'll change the SSD.

I thought about a 2GB graphics card, and I think it might do me fine for my current usage, but I would rather got a little overboard on if than in 3 months regret my choice when I want to do something new.

I'll consider the blu-ray. I dont have a TV so my PC is the only place I'd watch them, but perhaps you're right.

The other thing I meant to ask is about Sound Cards. I know nothing about them.. do I need one, is it of use?
January 16, 2013 10:25:00 PM

Off to bed, wil lcheck back tomorrow :) 
January 17, 2013 11:28:47 AM

No need for a sound card. These days onboard sound is quite good, and sound card quality varies a lot.

If you're doing heavy rendering and such, the i7 3770k and 16 GB RAM can be necessary. If it's just a hobby thing though, with not too much overall usage in that area, I would say that you can save the money. However, it's obviously your money and you can spend it how you want :) 

I would say though to get an aftermarket cooler. If you're not planning to overclock now or want to overclock just a bit, definitely go with air cooling. The Noctua D14 is huge and heavy, but it's the best air cooler out there, pretty much. The Hyper 212 Evo is a good cooler at a good price (<$50), so I'd recommend that one.
January 17, 2013 12:40:11 PM

Alright, thanks. No sound!

Animation/multimedia is what I study at uni so its not just a hobby. Primarily I do after effects and not so much with the 3d, and I do have access to proper workstation computers at uni, which is why I didnt go for a full workstation build (and I need to game! :p ). I think I'll leave the i7 and RAM because I really dont want to have to change things later.

I think I will add in the Hyper 212. I really dont want my PC overheating for the same reason above^^

Thanks again for your help, I think I am going with this then.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£217.94 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£149.98 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£69.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.59 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£105.96 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card (£445.22 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£152.90 @ Amazon UK)
Optical Drive: Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD/CD Writer (£20.87 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £1315.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
!