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New Build/Upgrade advice

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February 6, 2013 11:26:54 AM

First post after spending many years browsing for tips

I'm looking for advice on a potential new build/upgrade

My current machine does what it needs to, but is starting to get long in the tooth (now 5 years old). I mainly use it for gaming (as far as hard work goes), the rest of the time it serves as a media centre/Blu-ray player. It sits in the corner of the living room so noise is also an important consideration (OCZ StealthXStream PSU is louder than I'd like)

Current System: (key components)

CPU+cooler: Q6600 @ 3GHz, Nexus LXM-8200 cooler with replacement Noctua NF-B9 Vortex-Control 92mm Quiet Case Fan
MB: Asus P5Q iP45 Socket 775 Motherboard
RAM: 6GB crucial DDR2 PC2-8500
GPU: HD5770 Vapor-x
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 500W
HDD: Crucial 120GB SSD + 1TB WD caviar Black +3TB WD Caviar Green
Case: XClio Propeller Midi Tower Case 36cm Quiet Side Fan + 2x Noctua 100mm case fans

My upgrade thoughts are:
CPU: i5 3750k vs i7 3770k? with Noctua NH-D14 cooler
MB: I like ASUS, is it worth investing in Thunderbolt (Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE is nice but maybe too pricey)
RAM: expect 8GB crucial?
GPU: HD7950 Vapor-X? (Nvidea thoughts? is Phys-x worth it)

HDD, PSU, case etc will be re-used (potential upgrade to Fractal Design R4)

Any recommendations/advice would be appreciated, my budget isn't fixed, around £500ish but happy to adjust for quality/value components.

Is now a good time to upgrade? is there anything that is worth waiting a number of months for?

A little open ended I know...

Thanks in advance

More about : build upgrade advice

February 6, 2013 12:04:25 PM

CPU: Get the i5-3570k its all you need for gaming
MB: I like the ASRock but ASUS is good too
RAM: 8GB 1600 is great
GPU: I prefer the HIS IceQ 7970 myself
February 6, 2013 12:15:20 PM

I agree with all the picks that patrick has made
Related resources
February 6, 2013 12:20:56 PM

I will be building this PC on Thursday (when I get my final pieces). Got it for gaming, and I like quiet (like you). I went for performance/value/quality picks. Obviously you're using euros, but I'm not sure how to convert it like some do on here. Anyway, maybe this can help you:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($205.18 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.66 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($107.98 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1140.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 09:20 EST-0500)
February 6, 2013 12:21:17 PM

CPU- 3570K for gaming and 3770K for video editing ( the 3770k has hyperthreading so it will perform better while editing video)

MB- Asus P8Z77 V PRO or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H (id go with any one, both are great... I have the p8z77 v pro and im very happy with it...

RAM- Corsair Vengence 8GB (2x4GB) @ 1600Mhz or G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) @ 1600Mhz or G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) @ 1600Mhz or Corsair Vengence Low Profile 8GB (2x4GB) @1600Mhz
NOTE- The 3rd and forth option are low profile so buy this if you are using lage CPU coolers like the NH-D14. Since you are, go for any one of the last 2 options

GPU- Asus GTX 670 Direct CU II
TIP- Make sure that you have a minimum PSU wattage of 500W

February 6, 2013 12:24:42 PM

make sure you pick up the newer low profile ram. it fit under most coolers. for power supply fan noise buy one that a little oversize for the rig and has active pfc as part of the ps. the pfc will only spin the fan up when needed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
there more money then a stock bronze power supply but there worth the extra costs.
February 6, 2013 1:50:59 PM

Thanks for the comments so far,
CPU: looks like the i5 over the i7, i5 ~£160 ($250) i7~£240 ($375) (Using British Pounds, GBP, not Euros). It needs to trade price against future proofing/replacement cost, CPU upgrade nearly always seems to include MB+RAM too and gets costly.

Low profile RAM is good advice, hadn't been considered.

Asus P8Z77 V PRO looks a good choice, I've read a few bits about buying a Thunderbolt card at a later date if it takes off?

Might look at PSU later with a view to a Crossfire/SLI setup

As above, I don't need new PSU etc, Monitor/OS are staying too, I'm currently running Windows 7 and using a 37" TV@1920×1080

GPU: Not sure I can justify the cost of a 7970 over a 7950, takes it from ~£260(~$380) to ~£350(~$550)

The US seems much cheaper....
!