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My first build (Gaming PC)

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February 11, 2013 1:48:35 AM

Hey guys, this will be my first ever build and I will mostly be using it for gaming. My budget is $1000. So far I have done a little research and have a list of components I think are OK, but I would like some experienced opinions as I am a total newb to this.

So far the components are as follows:

Motherboard: ASUS P8z77-v LK LGA 1155

CPU: intel i5-3570k Ivy Bridge

GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650ti 2GB

PSU: Corsair Builder Series 600w

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8)
(I had originally gone with G.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB (2 x 4) but the motherboard comes with free 8GB RAM)

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

Optical Drive: ASUS burner 24x



I haven't settled on a case. I was initially going to go with the NZXT Phantom 410, but I live in Canada and New Egg has no NZXT cases in Canada. I want the case to be good looking and have good ventilation (preferably Mid-Tower). If anyone has a recommendation on a case please let me know.

So is there anything I'm missing? Is this a good setup? Will I need any extra cooling? (not really thinking about overclocking) Is there going to be any difference with the Ballistix RAM as opposed to the G.Skill?

As I said this is my first ever build, I'm 17 and don't know too much about computers. Any help with this project is greatly appreciated.

Thanks :) 

More about : build gaming

a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 2:59:31 AM

That's a fairly low-end card for a $1000 gaming build.

I agree on the basics though:
1) i5-3570K
2) 1155/Z77 motherboard
3) 8GB DDR3 1600MHz

*Did you realize that motherboard link includes the following?
- i5-2500K CPU
- motherboard
- RAM

My advice is get at least an HD7850 2GB, or GTX660 2GB card. Example:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73627&vpn=HD7870-DC2-...


Other:
- Windows 8 64-bit OEM
- Start8 (from Stardock to bring back Start Menu)
- CPU HSF (get one with PWM fan)
- case (get front USB3, and make sure the graphics card FITS)
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February 11, 2013 3:02:38 AM

do you already have a monitor? if so, what resolution is it?
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February 11, 2013 3:12:20 AM

Photonboy, no I did not realize the mobo came with that. Is there a motherboard you can recommend? That has been causing me the most trouble so far. As for the video card it seems a little out of my price range. But if its necessary so be it. And as for windows 8 I am getting a copy of that from a friend. And I'm assuming te HSF is the heat sink? I figured the CPU would come with that. Also, is start8 just a windows 8 addon?

Augray37, I don't yet have a monitor.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 4:07:44 AM

ii aM DippY said:
Photonboy, no I did not realize the mobo came with that. Is there a motherboard you can recommend? That has been causing me the most trouble so far. As for the video card it seems a little out of my price range. But if its necessary so be it. And as for windows 8 I am getting a copy of that from a friend. And I'm assuming te HSF is the heat sink? I figured the CPU would come with that. Also, is start8 just a windows 8 addon?

Augray37, I don't yet have a monitor.


You budgeted $1000 for a gaming PC. The best gaming value for this scenario is an i5-3570K and the best graphics card you can budget for.

For $320 after MIR, this motherboard and CPU combo:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=72062&vpn=3570K%20%26...

This leaves you a lot of money to play with, but since I don't know exactly what you are budgeting for, whether that includes tax etc it's difficult to help.

The card I mentioned came with codes for the new Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite games (about $100 value). Since the card is $220 after MIR the card only costs about $120 plus tax (if you were buying those games anyway).

Again, the most IMPORTANT PART of a gaming PC for performance is the graphics card.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 4:10:16 AM

Other:
1) the "CPU HSF" is the Heat Sink + Fan for the CPU. You'll want a $30 or so after-market and not the noisy one that comes with the CPU.

*It's important to get one with a PWM fan so your new motherboard can control the speed (BIOS settings and an Asus tool you install).

Even this one (on sale for $7) is far better. http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67721&vpn=CNPS%205X%2...

2) Start8 is an addon to bring back the Start Menu and bypass the new Windows 8 Start Screen. It's only $5 and it's awesome (basically like using Windows 7).
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 5:07:34 AM

My core PARTS RECOMMEND:

1) CPU/Mobo (i5-3570K + Asus Z77..)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=72062&vpn=3570K%20%26...

2) Case (Corsair 300R).
Why? USB3 front, and nice separation for long graphics card. Cable management etc.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=66063&vpn=CC-9011014-...

3) CPU HSF:
Why? Better than stock and only $7 after MIR:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67721&vpn=CNPS%205X%2...

4) RAM: (8GB G. Skill 1600MHz)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=58099&vpn=F3-12800CL8...

5) DVD burner:
Why THIS one? *Because the FIRMWARE on many are out of date. One of the Asus models has 2009 firmware only. THIS ONE has 2013 firmware for better DISC compatibility (firmware adds info about new discs to help burn faster and prevent bad burns).
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78975&vpn=GH24NS95&ma...

*Once installed, go to the LG site, download and run the firmware update.

6) PSU: (Antec 620W 48A single rail)
Why? Should be a quality PSU and sufficient for up to a GTX680 OC.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67325&vpn=HCG-620M&ma...

7) Graphics card: HD7870 2GB 1000MHz
Why?
- 2 free games so card value after MIR is actually about $140 before tax!
- my MINIMUM recommend is this for a $1000 gaming rig but we'll have to see the final price of the system
- also, card has a great cooling solution and should be quiet and reliable.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73627&vpn=HD7870-DC2-...

Price total before tax/shipping (but after MIR):

$796

(I didn't include a Hard Drive yet. I'd probably recommend a single 2TB drive. Obviously an SSD is nice and a second drive is great for backup, but this adds to the cost and I'd recommend putting as much as possible towards the graphics card. However, it's not MY computer... )
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 5:41:10 AM

ii aM DippY said:
As for the video card it seems a little out of my price range.


Rule of thumb is to pay twice for the GPU what you do for the CPU.

That means with an i5-3570k, you're looking at a GPU in the ~$400 range. If you can't afford that, you're better off getting an i5-3350p and a $350 graphics card than you an i5-3570k, CPU cooler, and z77 motherboard with a $250 graphics card.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 5:42:32 AM

photonboy said:
7) Graphics card: HD7870 2GB 1000MHz
Why?
- 2 free games so card value after MIR is actually about $140 before tax!
- my MINIMUM recommend is this for a $1000 gaming rig but we'll have to see the final price of the system


Bare minimum now should be the new 7870 XT / 7950 LE / 7930.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 9:11:23 AM

Hard Drive (several choices):
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&vpn=WD10EZEX&ma...

That's a WD Blue 1TB for $70.
The Seagate 1TB only had a 1-year Warranty. This has 2. For $25 more you can get a 2TB drive but a 1TB drive was listed in the post so that's what I chose.

SYSTEM PRICE (with hard drive; before tax/shipping and after MIR):

about $865
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 9:26:20 AM

DarkSable said:
Rule of thumb is to pay twice for the GPU what you do for the CPU.

That means with an i5-3570k, you're looking at a GPU in the ~$400 range. If you can't afford that, you're better off getting an i5-3350p and a $350 graphics card than you an i5-3570k, CPU cooler, and z77 motherboard with a $250 graphics card.


Note he's getting a savings on the COMBO motherboard and i5-3570K I recommended. The i5-3350p isn't overclockable which can make a 35% difference. It's $180 and if you subtract that from $320 (after MIR) for the combo that leaves $140 which is the cost of the Asus motherboard I'm recommending.

So basically buying this Asus motherboard and the i5-3350p separately would cost the SAME as the combo with the better i5-3570K.

I also don't know where you came up with that $100 to put towards a graphics card.
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February 11, 2013 9:53:37 AM

Wow photonboy, thank you so much that was an unbelievable amount of help. Very surprised you took the time to find me all that info. The games with the video card are a nice touch :) .

My initial price of 1000 was hopefully including taxes and shipping which is why I first thought the 7870 was a little pricey, but seeing the overall price of te parts you chose, that's still very close to what I had in mind. NCIX seems like the better choice over newegg too.

DarkSable, thank you for your input as well, and who knows, maybe ill find a way to increase the budget on my car a little ;) 
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February 11, 2013 1:45:44 PM

So based on what you given me (which is more than I could have hoped for) I have come up with this

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (found that it is available on NCIX, just not on New Egg)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70799&promoid=1312

Mobo/CPU: z77/3570k combo you suggested
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71588&promoid=1382

GPU: The 7870 you suggested. It is a little expensive but it keeps the computer under 1000. I was hoping to be at 100 with shipping and HST, but a little higher is alright.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73627&promoid=1312

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8gb (2x4 blue) just because it looks freakin awesome and has good reviews
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59431&promoid=1312

CPU Heatsink: The one you suggested to keep the prices low
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67721&promoid=1312

Optical Drive: Also the one you suggested because I don't have any kind of preference on drives, as long as it has a good write rate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78975

PSU: The one you suggested. Good price.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78975

HDD: Also what you suggested. Another good price.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1312

As you can see I basically followed your build. I check to make sure the 7870 could fit in the 410 and people say it does. If there are any other parts I need please let me know. Also, if there is any other advice you have it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 3:09:47 PM

photonboy said:
Note he's getting a savings on the COMBO motherboard and i5-3570K I recommended. The i5-3350p isn't overclockable which can make a 35% difference. It's $180 and if you subtract that from $320 (after MIR) for the combo that leaves $140 which is the cost of the Asus motherboard I'm recommending.

So basically buying this Asus motherboard and the i5-3350p separately would cost the SAME as the combo with the better i5-3570K.

I also don't know where you came up with that $100 to put towards a graphics card.


First of all, you shouldn't ever use mail in rebates for pricing - they're never reliable. Secondly, one wouldn't buy that motherboard with an i5-3350p, which is where I came up with that $100; money off from the cheaper processor, money off from not buying a cooler, and money off from only having to buy an h77 chipset motherboard.

As for overclocking, yes, it can make a significant difference... but neither chip is going to bottleneck a modern graphics card, and overclocking will not help whatsoever when it comes to framerates in games. (Yes, it's nice to have and makes general use snappier, but for pure gaming, your graphics card is what does the driving.)

I say again to the OP... you really want to get a 7870 XT (Like the PowerColor Myst). It's a significant bump up in power, and is the difference between smooth gaming at high settings, and not-so-smooth gaming with lowered settings. The graphics card is the most important part of a computer if that computer is being used for gaming.
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February 11, 2013 4:12:27 PM

I looked into the Powercolor 7870 as opposed to the ASUS 7870 and notice Rey are the same price, couldn't find any good pages comparing the two. Can you explain the benefits of choosing the powercolor vs the card Photonboy suggested? I'm just trying to understand
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February 11, 2013 4:13:00 PM

If you are budgeting for around 1000 (the same as me), you should easily afford an i5 3570k, and you can get 7970 gpus for 360 ish, that's still about 450 ish left for everything else, I am using a downgrade for a case, but it has good enough cooling potential so I don't care about the downgrade. Here is a part list that is good for gaming, it brings u around the 1000 mark.

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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February 11, 2013 4:17:37 PM

I'm pretty set on the Phantom 410 case. Not very interested in a downgrade. As for the 7970, is the performance increase goin to be worth the extra 100?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 4:23:47 PM

Seems silly to sacrifice the computer's internals for the case, but that's just me.

I'd shy away from getting a 7970 - that is above your price point if you want the rest of your computer to be of decent quality.
EDIT: But if you can somehow fit a 7950 in there, it has so much overclocking headroom it's not even funny. It'll match a 7970 fairly easily, and only be slightly slower after both cards are overclocked.

If the two 7870s are the same price, then by EVERY means, go with the power color - it's not a 7870, it's a 7870 XT, which is a slightly-disabled version of a 7950... think of it as the 7950 LE, or the 7930.

Tom's recently did an article on them that shows why you want one:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tahiti-le-7870-7930...
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February 11, 2013 4:32:36 PM

Yeah the 7970 is out of the question. As for the case I just really really like the phantom :p . And I wouldn't be sacrificing the insides, I would simply be putting a bit more money into my budget to get the phantom :) 

I jut checked out the page graphing the powercolor and it is clearly more powerful than the HD7870.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 4:44:04 PM

Ahh, gotcha. That's understandable - there is something to be said about a nice case, provided you keep it around through several builds.

And yeah, it's based on a completely different chip, so can do wonders. Sapphire also makes a version of the 7870XT, but it's $20 more or so... though it has better cooling if you want to overclock.
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February 11, 2013 4:47:40 PM

I'm not interested in overclocking at the moment but I'm not ruling it out for the future. So, after swapping the HD7870 for the 7870XT is there anything else this build needs? Because I feel confident in this :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 4:52:29 PM

Only other thing I'd think about would be forking up the dough for an SSD...

If you play MMOs at all, or get annoyed by loading screens, then you want one for sure. (Even if you don't, it's the single best upgrade one can to to make a computer feel "snappy.")

That being said, a 128GB drive will set you back about $110. I personally wouldn't think twice, but do a little reading and see if it would benefit you.

Other than that, I can't think of anything. (Wait, yes I can. If you are interested in overclocking at some point in the future, see if you can get your hands on some Samsung MV-3V4G3D/US. It's THE best overclocking RAM out there, period. [It uses a 30nm process instead of 60nm, so it's hands and feet above the rest.])
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February 11, 2013 4:54:39 PM

I have looked into SSD's but there are out of my budget. Later on I think I will get one. But that's for the future.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 5:02:27 PM

Then you're good to go, my friend.
(Oh. I'd spend the little extra to get a Hyper 212+ - it's only $10 more, but cools a lot better, and more importantly, looks awesome. ;) 
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February 11, 2013 6:04:14 PM

Haha, yeah you're right. It looks a lot better.

Thanks so much for the help guys, if anyone has any advice on the building process that would be appreciated as well. I can't wait to order this :D 
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February 11, 2013 6:05:41 PM

My Total: $993.53

Coudn't get much closer than that ;) 
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February 11, 2013 6:11:43 PM

Looking at that fan, it isn't a PWM fan, so I can't control the speed right?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 6:24:36 PM

The fan on the Hyper 212+? It's a PWM fan.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 4:05:05 AM

DarkSable said:
Then you're good to go, my friend.
(Oh. I'd spend the little extra to get a Hyper 212+ - it's only $10 more, but cools a lot better, and more importantly, looks awesome. ;) 


I wanted to recommend this HSF, however I got it and the fan was noisy.
*If you get this one and have issues with fan noise then buy one of the Noctua PWM fans.

Other:
You changed the RAM I recommended to an almost identical set which:
- has higher timings (not quite as good as the set I recommended)
- appears to be taller
*G. Skill makes excellent memory. You likely won't have problems with either set, however I would recommend keeping my original suggestion. The G. Skill is only $15 more however I could show you benchmarks where those lower timings do make a difference.

SSD's:
I've been testing games with SSD's. It's not a big advantage for most. Since you are on a budget I recommend adding an SSD later. Here's a great way to do things though:

SSD#1 - 128GB (Windows and apps)
SSD#2 - 128GB or higher (games that BENEFIT) from an SSD significantly
HDD - main STEAM folder, downloads, media etc.

*STEAM allows multiple game folders. I bought a second SSD for Steam (folder #2) and I can move individual games like this:
a) BACKUP a game (i.e. Fallout NV)
b) DELETE the game from Steam
c) RESTORE the backup and choose the Steam folder on the SSD.

Since SSD's cost more, I can just move over any games I'm currently playing. Thus if you got a great deal on a 60GB SSD you could move over a couple games from Steam and when done playing move back to the HDD or just leave as a backup file on the HDD.

Cheers.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 4:50:51 AM

^If you don't tend to have a lot of apps, you can also have a single 128GB SSD for your os, programs, and what games to get a benefit from it.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 10:17:57 AM

DarkSable said:
^If you don't tend to have a lot of apps, you can also have a single 128GB SSD for your os, programs, and what games to get a benefit from it.


He did say an SSD is out of his budget.
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February 12, 2013 12:54:15 PM

Yes, an SSD is out of my budget for now. I will probably get a 128GB later on but 2 is more than necessary for me. I will look into the RAM i just chose the Corsair Vengeance due to it's good reviews and looks. I had initially chosen G.Skill so thats not a big deal to me. I will probably go with the G.Skill
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February 12, 2013 12:55:15 PM

And the louder fan doesn't bother me. I've done research on the Powercolor 7870XT and apparently that should drown out the noise of my fan anyway :p . Seems to be a quite noisy card.
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February 12, 2013 1:06:55 PM

So with the final adjustments:

Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71588&promoid=1382

CPU: Core i5-3570k
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71588&promoid=1382

Heatsink: Cooler Master 212 Hyper+
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=41337

Graphics Card: Powercolor Radeon 7870 Myst
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78372&promoid=1312

PSU: Antec 620w
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67325&promoid=1312

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 8gb 1600Mhz (2 x 4)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=58099

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1312

Optical Drive: LG DVD Writer
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78975

All in a NZXT Phantom 410 Midtower Case
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70799&promoid=1312

Total cost: $1008.00 CAD

So all of this should fit in the mid tower? am I better off upgrading to a full tower for airflow and space? If there is a better case that is certain to hold everything better than the phantom I can be persuaded.
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February 12, 2013 2:00:40 PM

And one last thing. I'm a little short on the cash right now, so should I order it piece by piece to take advantage of lets say, the bundle deal on the CPU/Mobo? Does that deal expire? If that deal expires I probably want to order that potion of the build ASAP.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 4:59:10 PM

All that will fit in the mid tower just fine - I imagine it's bigger than you're expecting.

If it's a good deal (more than, say, $25 off) then yeah, go for it. Just make sure that you don't spread out the ordering TOO far apart, because you'll have to find new parts all over again.
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February 12, 2013 5:28:31 PM

Its $359 from $449, so yeah. and what new parts would I need? Do you just mean they may run out of stock?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 7:26:29 PM

Yeah, either out of stock, or deals will end, or prices will fluctuate, sometimes hugely.
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February 12, 2013 8:51:01 PM

Ok, well I just ordered the Mobo/CPU couple. The others will soon follow, hopefully.
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February 12, 2013 8:52:19 PM

Best answer selected by ii aM DippY.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 14, 2013 11:19:50 PM

Video card:
I'm not sure what to think on that card. I didn't realize it was a stripped-down HD7950 so it actually falls BETWEEN an HD7870 and an HD7950 (in some cases there are no advantages over an HD7870).

The drawback is that it runs much louder than the Asus I mentioned. Some people don't mind extra noise (I'm not one of them).

In case you didn't see the review on the Powerolor you suggested:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tahiti-le-7870-7930...
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February 15, 2013 7:25:54 PM

I've done a lot of research on the Powercolor Myst, the noisy single fan doesn't bother me. I am getting it for almost the same price as the ASUS 7870 and based on charts i've seen, it runs closer to a 7950 than it does a 7870.

Based on comments like this from Tom's review, this card seems like a better choice to me.

"Despite its high power consumption, the PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition presents a really interesting prospect for overclockers and BUDGET GAMERS alike. If you don’t have the cash for a real Radeon HD 7950 or a GeForce GTX 660 Ti, then the HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition sits in as an excellent alternative."

"For about $240, you get a better card than the more familiar Radeon HD 7870, based on AMD's Pitcairn GPU. The HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition manages to almost catch up to the first-gen Radeon HD 7950 (without Boost functionality), which is more expensive."
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a b 4 Gaming
February 16, 2013 2:51:32 AM

ii aM DippY said:
I've done a lot of research on the Powercolor Myst, the noisy single fan doesn't bother me. I am getting it for almost the same price as the ASUS 7870 and based on charts i've seen, it runs closer to a 7950 than it does a 7870.

Based on comments like this from Tom's review, this card seems like a better choice to me.

"Despite its high power consumption, the PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition presents a really interesting prospect for overclockers and BUDGET GAMERS alike. If you don’t have the cash for a real Radeon HD 7950 or a GeForce GTX 660 Ti, then the HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition sits in as an excellent alternative."

"For about $240, you get a better card than the more familiar Radeon HD 7870, based on AMD's Pitcairn GPU. The HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition manages to almost catch up to the first-gen Radeon HD 7950 (without Boost functionality), which is more expensive."


I'm not arguing the point. We are referencing the same article.

The main drawback is the noise, but if you're aware of that going in it seems like an excellent value.
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February 17, 2013 7:10:05 PM

Ugh. Can't stop myself from reconsidering my video card. I think i want to go over budget and jump into more expensive ones. The 660ti seems like an incredibly reasonable card due to the fact that it is 300$ and laughs in the face of the 7870 and 7950 according to these charts.

http://kotaku.com/5935267/nvidias-most-powerful-graphic...

If I were to go bigger what would you recommend?
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February 17, 2013 7:12:07 PM

I was looking at the 3gb 660ti's
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February 17, 2013 10:12:25 PM

I think I'm liking the MSI 660ti 2gb Power Edition for about $300. Should I go for a 3gb instead? it isn't much more.

I know this thread has been solved but I'm asking here in hopes that you guys will check in. If I start up another thread the people won't know my situation as well.
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February 17, 2013 10:25:15 PM

Sapphire HD7950

OR

MSI 660Ti Power Edition

This is difficult, haha. I think I'm leaning toward the 7950 now.
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