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~$1300 Gaming Build, Advice & Questions

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January 20, 2013 9:09:43 AM

This'll be my first build, so I'm a little nervous and want to make sure everything goes well.

I posted a couple months ago and got some input from you guys, to which I've played with since and tried to see how much I could save switching out parts here and there. I want the computer to primarily fulfill my gaming needs. I'd love to play the latest and greatest at max settings with a resolution of 1920x1080. As a side interest, I'd like to play with recording and editing video. My budget max is about $1500, though I'm trying to spend less if possible. I only need the parts I've already chosen, so nothing additional like a monitor or optical drive. I am not too familiar with brand quality, and chose parts based on reviews and prices.

Here's the PCPartPicker link:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yyKk

Thanks to blazorthon primarily for the template in which I started with.

I'm looking for any feedback at all. Again, my max budget goes up to about $1500, though the cheaper the better. I'm also specifically curious about whether or not I should stick with the 7950 Crossfire setup, or go with a single GTX 680 card. Any thoughts on that would definitely be appreciated. I'm also not too sure on the case I chose. I chose it because it was a Full Tower under $100 and had overall positive reviews and it looks decent as well. I have a 2TB storage drive, so decided to cut some cost by dropping from a 256GB SSD to a 120GB one. I looked primarily at price as well as Read/Write speeds to choose. Would 120GB be enough for the OS plus a couple applications and maybe a game or two? I'd think it should be, and that's really all I'd need. The PSU isn't one of the more recommended brands, but the reviews on Newegg seem to indicate it's rather decent. Also, I'd like any thoughts/feedback of compatibility between all of the parts, and if the tower is sufficient to house it all, as well as the cable length on the PSU not being an issue. I've tried to do my own research on that, but haven't been able to draw a definitive answer, most likely due to my ignorance on custom building computers.

I appreciate any time and effort. Thanks.
January 20, 2013 9:41:42 AM

Getting a X-Fire setup will be a waste as Next Gen cards are near.

I would buy a Card now and then when Next-Gen arrives, I'll buy another in SLI @ cheaper rate. Or get a better card then.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.76 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($529.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black/Orange) ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1311.67
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2013 10:02:46 AM

Skryn said:
I'm also specifically curious about whether or not I should stick with the 7950 Crossfire setup, or go with a single GTX 680 card. Any thoughts on that would definitely be appreciated.


Keep the dual 7950s. They're awesome and even better once overclocked.

Skryn said:
I have a 2TB storage drive, so decided to cut some cost by dropping from a 256GB SSD to a 120GB one. I looked primarily at price as well as Read/Write speeds to choose. Would 120GB be enough for the OS plus a couple applications and maybe a game or two? I'd think it should be, and that's really all I'd need.


120GB should be enough for a couple game but 256GB is better if you want to install games in the same drive as windows. Another way is to get a 120GB for windows and programs and then buy another 240-256/480-512GB SSD later for storing games.

Skryn said:
I'm also not too sure on the case I chose. I chose it because it was a Full Tower under $100 and had overall positive reviews and it looks decent as well.


Have a look at the Antec Eleven Hundred or Corsair 400R/500R Black/500R White. They have excellent airflow and excellent cable management. Looks pretty good as well (at least to me)

Skryn said:
The PSU isn't one of the more recommended brands, but the reviews on Newegg seem to indicate it's rather decent.


I would get either the SeaSonic SS-750AM or Corsair TX750M around that price. 750W is still enough for 2 7950s and an overclocked 3570K.
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January 20, 2013 10:54:20 AM

EzioAs said:
Keep the dual 7950s. They're awesome and even better once overclocked.

From what I'm seeing, they seem to perform really well on games that support crossfire. I guess that makes sense. How common is it for a current-gen game to not support Crossfire? Also, I've read around that drivers for Crossfire can be a pain, and a lot of people seem to recommend sticking strictly to a single card.

EzioAs said:
120GB should be enough for a couple game but 256GB is better if you want to install games in the same drive as windows. Another way is to get a 120GB for windows and programs and then buy another 240-256/480-512GB SSD later for storing games.

That's definitely a possibility. For the mean time, to keep initial cost down, I think I'll stick with the 120GB I have selected. Unless someone can point to a better brand and/or better read/write times.

EzioAs said:
Have a look at the Antec Eleven Hundred or Corsair 400R/500R Black/500R White. They have excellent airflow and excellent cable management. Looks pretty good as well (at least to me)

Awesome! I've actually decided to change over to the Corsair 500R White. I watched the Newegg Youtube review and that case looks perfect, and all of the fans and airflow is quite impressive. Thanks for heads-up.

EzioAs said:
I would get either the SeaSonic SS-750AM or Corsair TX750M around that price. 750W is still enough for 2 7950s and an overclocked 3570K.

I'm still looking at the PSUs. Is the one I've selected, the Raidmax 850W Gold not a very good brand? Is that why you've recommended different brand, but lesser wattage PSUs? Those 750s actually come out a bit, but not by much really, more than the 850W one I've selected. I'm not too sure why, to be honest.

Oh, about my RAM. I chose the 8GB @1600 because I believe I read somewhere here on these forums that honestly, gaming would not notice if I were to say get 16GB @1866. Is that true? It's not much cost to upgrade them up, but I figured if I wouldn't notice an improvement, why pay more?

One last thing: What's the different between the SSD I chose, and the SSD Sumukh_Bhagat listed. His is like 40-50 dollars more expensive, and has 530mb/s Read and 390mb/s Write. The one I chose has 550mb/s Read and 500mb/s Write. I think I'm missing something here.

Ooo, I'm looking at reviews mentioning that putting two of the SSDs in a Raid 0 array nearly doubles the read/write. Is that too risky? I've never played with HD arrays, but have no qualms researching how to do it and paying for another SSD if the results are that impressive.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2013 11:25:35 AM

Skryn said:
From what I'm seeing, they seem to perform really well on games that support crossfire. I guess that makes sense. How common is it for a current-gen game to not support Crossfire? Also, I've read around that drivers for Crossfire can be a pain, and a lot of people seem to recommend sticking strictly to a single card.


Most modern games nowadays supports crossfire. AMD has also started their "Gaming Evolved" project which means that titles that have these "branding" will support crossfire, eyefinity and other AMD features. I know you're concern about crossfire not scaling in games, however, the good news is that an HD7950 is a pretty high end card and performs really well even as a single GPU. Once overclocked, the 7950 is also equivalent to a GTX680. So chances are, in games that does not support crossfire, you'll still have enough horsepower to play at high settings. That's why I usually limit crossfire/SLI to the 2 highest end card (ie. GTX680/670 and Radeon HD7970/7950).

Skryn said:
That's definitely a possibility. For the mean time, to keep initial cost down, I think I'll stick with the 120GB I have selected. Unless someone can point to a better brand and/or better read/write times.


Samsung 840 PRO, Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4, OCZ Vector are also great choices.

Skryn said:
Awesome! I've actually decided to change over to the Corsair 500R White. I watched the Newegg Youtube review and that case looks perfect, and all of the fans and airflow is quite impressive. Thanks for heads-up.


You're welcome.

Skryn said:
I'm still looking at the PSUs. Is the one I've selected, the Raidmax 850W Gold not a very good brand? Is that why you've recommended different brand, but lesser wattage PSUs? Those 750s actually come out a bit, but not by much really, more than the 850W one I've selected. I'm not too sure why, to be honest.


I recommended those two because I've seen reviews on them and they perform really well. Also, for power supply, I only recommend SeaSonic, Corsair, Antec and XFX. Sometimes you can find other brands performing good as well but the ones I've listed usually have units with positive reviews. Plus, Raidmax doesn't have very good reputations in the psu forums (see on JonnyGuru).
Psu quality is essential in a computer system, I think it's best if you go with the units I suggested or find some other quality ones.

Skryn said:
Oh, about my RAM. I chose the 8GB @1600 because I believe I read somewhere here on these forums that honestly, gaming would not notice if I were to say get 16GB @1866. Is that true? It's not much cost to upgrade them up, but I figured if I wouldn't notice an improvement, why pay more?


You won't see any real world differences from 1600MHz to 1866MHz and above, only in benchmarks. However, from time to time, I also suggest 1866MHz kits because sometime they can be found at similar or just slightly higher price than 1600MHz kits. For gaming, you also don't need 16GB of RAM, 8GB is still enough. Get 16GB if you're doing any video editing, 3D rendering, CAD or whatever applications that uses a lot of RAM.
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January 20, 2013 12:06:14 PM

Taking your responses into consideration, here's my revised build:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yzxN

I decided to up it up to two SSDs, which I plan to run in Raid 0. I also decided to pay a bit more to upgrade the RAM, as I plan on doing some video recording and editing.

Let me know if there's anything else you'd change.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2013 12:16:39 PM

Are you doing some serious video editing (like for work or something)? Because if you do, you might want to consider an i7-3770K instead, the extra threads will come in handy in some editing tools. However, if it's a side thing or a hobby and/or you're fine not getting the best from LGA1155, stay with the 3570K.

Other than that, the rest of your parts are great. I wouldn't change anything,
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January 20, 2013 12:45:11 PM

EzioAs said:
Are you doing some serious video editing (like for work or something)? Because if you do, you might want to consider an i7-3770K instead, the extra threads will come in handy in some editing tools. However, if it's a side thing or a hobby and/or you're fine not getting the best from LGA1155, stay with the 3570K.

Other than that, the rest of your parts are great. I wouldn't change anything,


Completely a side-hobby thing. If my plans or priorities change, I could just upgrade without hassle to the i7-3770k, right?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2013 12:49:20 PM

Yes.
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January 25, 2013 7:45:44 AM

Best answer selected by Skryn.
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