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2012-2013 high-end gaming rig from scratch

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February 23, 2013 7:19:12 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm about to try my first build of a PC and thought I'd get some experienced opinions since I've been out of the game for a long time. Here's what I'm thinking:

CPU : Intel i7 3770k
MOB : Asus P8Z77-V PRO LGA
GPU : Radeon HD 7970 3072MB PCIe
RAM : Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB
HDD : Corsair Neutron/GTX SSD 240GB

HDD : ??? 2TB
PSU : ??? [Corsair GS800?]
Cooling/Case : ???

My (flexible) budget for the whole thing would be ~£1300.

I don't need something too ridiculous as I'm not keen on overclocking, but I do run a lot of virtual machines to emulate networked/engineered systems locally (hence the RAM). Aside from that just gaming and game development (Maya/ZBrush/Unity) on Full HD, suppose 4k support/multi-monitor wouldn't hurt.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
February 23, 2013 7:35:16 PM

GS800 sucks, for what you get it's overpriced, also for your build you don't need nearly 800W, an HX650 is more than enough, modular+gold also.

February 23, 2013 7:47:28 PM

For HDD get a 2TB Seagate Barracuda + SSD. I recommend either Samsung or OCZ Vertex 4. For a case, the 650D is AMAZING to work with. I personally have it and it is awesome. Great cableing. But if you don't want to spend $150, then get HAF 922 or R4.
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February 23, 2013 7:50:57 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£239.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£48.49 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£144.84 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£64.99 @ Dabs)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£139.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£67.32 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (£343.60 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£59.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£65.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.85 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1188.03
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

February 23, 2013 8:28:32 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£165.45 @ Dabs)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS5X Performa CPU Cooler (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£68.87 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£67.24 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive (£59.98 @ Dabs)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£69.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (£299.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (£77.99 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: Fractal Design Newton R3 600W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£101.86 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.85 @ Aria PC)
Total: £938.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-23 22:27 GMT+0000)

just a money saving build without SLI/CFX. The xeon is a locked i7 pretty much will make another build if you want OCing and SLI/CFX

Also AMD is a very solid choice for a nice workshop and gaming setup which is what i will be making
February 23, 2013 8:38:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor (£143.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£48.49 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£129.99 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory (£102.95 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive (£59.98 @ Dabs)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£139.98 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (£299.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (£77.99 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£126.94 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.85 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1142.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-23 22:37 GMT+0000)

One thing about the 2133 ram is that the AMD CPU uses it better than the intel counterpart(which is way most people just stay at 1600 for intel and because anything over 1600/1.5v will void the warranty of the CPU)
February 23, 2013 9:39:31 PM

First off thanks for all the replies, really surprised with how helpful this has been.

@darksparten- thanks, was thinking about getting a lower PSU but was concerned about future-proofing as this will be something I'll look to upgrade as time gets on, so I don't mind paying a bit extra for an 800+.

@shoryuken- was initially torn between the Barracuda and WD Green and found the Barracuda had way better reviews. Also 650D looks cash, thanks for the suggestion!

@django- looks like a good setup, was hoping for a decent cooling system and the NZXT HAVIK 140 looks beast. Was thinking about getting a gold PSU as this will be on almost constantly (will need constant RDP/SSH availability to rig dev environment from project sites) so I want efficiency/longevity

@boulbox- Great suggestions (I like saving money :p ). Though CFX especially looks possible in the long term so I think the second is a winner there. Looked at some stats on Intel vs AMD and was thinking of sticking to Intel for the i7 processor. Also (forgive my ignorance) but is that Sabertooth mobo the one that has PCI 3.0 support?

Actually I think I'm sold on the NZXT HAVIK for cooling, Seagate Barracuda 2TB/Crucial M4 256GB SSD for HDD, XFX ProSeries 850W Gold and Fractal Design Define R4 case. Only question remaining is between AMD and Intel:

Asus P8Z77-V / Intel 3770K / Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB
or
Sabertooth 990FX / AMD FX-8350 / Patriot Viper 3 16GB

I understand AMD would be cheaper and Intel better for high-end gaming, is that the only difference? Many thanks again for the help.
February 23, 2013 9:47:33 PM

The i7-3770k is a better cpu, i'd get low profile ram for that cooler.
Here's the updated list with a psu with 850W and that will do for the 7970 ghz edition crossfire : http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/FvNb
The corsair is as good as the xfx(both were made by seasonic) and it's cheaper, you might want to downgrade the gpu for a normal 7970, but the sapphire 7970 vapor-x has a great cooling system and it's a 7970 ghz edition.
February 23, 2013 10:00:14 PM

djangoringo said:
The i7-3770k is a better cpu, i'd get low profile ram for that cooler.
Here's the updated list with a psu with 850W and that will do for the 7970 ghz edition crossfire : http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/FvNb
The corsair is as good as the xfx(both were made by seasonic) and it's cheaper, you might want to downgrade the gpu for a normal 7970, but the sapphire 7970 vapor-x has a great cooling system and it's a 7970 ghz edition.


Yeah, I think I'll stick with the Sapphire 7970. Great setup! Thanks heaps, very much appreciated.
!