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My first build

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February 24, 2013 2:57:53 PM

Hi I'm going to attempt to build my first pc having been converted from console gaming, but I don't know much about computers, here's the parts I've picked out so far...

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.45 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£91.99 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£76.80 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.49 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card (£177.98 @ Amazon UK)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£84.95 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£71.99 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.85 @ Aria PC)
Total: £786.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I would mostly play games like BF3, Crysis 3 and WoW on this computer and I'd like to be able to do that with high settings in 1080p. Should I save up more money and change this graphics card, or is it good enough? Is there anywhere I could save money on this? I chose that motherboard incase I buy another card for SLI in the future.
Also I've been advised to buy the SSD, does it really make that much difference, should I stick with 1TB HD and spend that money on a graphics card instead?

More about : build

February 24, 2013 3:10:35 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£142.27 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£82.86 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£50.17 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£97.84 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£239.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case (£93.58 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£48.17 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.85 @ Aria PC)
Total: £809.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-24 17:10 GMT+0000)
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February 24, 2013 3:34:24 PM

I like your list.

It is hard to make some suggestions without adding some costs.

1. You will pay a 5% price premium for a 3570K compared to a 3570. That gives you a potential for a 25% boost in cpu power for very little.
Consider the change, particularly if your BF3 play is multiplayer. That can be very cpu taxing.

2. If you will not oc, then you probably do not need an aftermarket cpu cooler.

3. Your OCZ ZT psu is one of the good models they make.

4. For a balanced cpu/gpu gaming pc, I might look for a stronger graphics card, particularly if you want high settings. But, that is one of the easier things to change out later.

5. 1.5v ram does not need fancy heat spreaders, look for a low profile kit.

6. Take the time now to download and read, cover to cover, your case and motherboard manuals. Much will be learned.
February 24, 2013 3:49:18 PM

You need to upgrade your GPU. At least a 7870/660ti for 1080p to run BF3.

You only need 500W PSU. Not sure why you chose 650W ???

Asus Z77 is a great mobo, but only if you buy a 3570K, not 3570. To stay in budget get a H77 (which will not allow you to overclock CPU) and 3470.

You can, but don't have to, buy a COoler Master Evo. With a non "K", you don't have to buy a special cooler, although always better to do so.
February 24, 2013 3:50:47 PM

Have you looked at scans daily deals / weekend deals to see if you can save any money on those parts? Chances are you'll be able to save a bit of cash and upgrade some parts.
February 24, 2013 4:01:06 PM

pay little more and get the gtx 670
February 24, 2013 4:20:05 PM

wow thanks for all the replies! I am willing to OC, but apart from not having any experience, I'm worried about the life of the components shortening, is this a problem if done carefully?
If it's not a problem, I will change CPU to 'K' model.
I'm thinking of leaving the SSD out for now for a better GPU.
So GTX 670, HD 7950 have been suggested, any others I should consider?

I really appreciate the fast help btw!
February 24, 2013 4:31:20 PM

geofelt said:
I like your list.

It is hard to make some suggestions without adding some costs.

1. You will pay a 5% price premium for a 3570K compared to a 3570. That gives you a potential for a 25% boost in cpu power for very little.
Consider the change, particularly if your BF3 play is multiplayer. That can be very cpu taxing.

2. If you will not oc, then you probably do not need an aftermarket cpu cooler.

3. Your OCZ ZT psu is one of the good models they make.

4. For a balanced cpu/gpu gaming pc, I might look for a stronger graphics card, particularly if you want high settings. But, that is one of the easier things to change out later.

5. 1.5v ram does not need fancy heat spreaders, look for a low profile kit.

6. Take the time now to download and read, cover to cover, your case and motherboard manuals. Much will be learned.



wow thanks for all the replies! I am willing to OC, but apart from not having any experience, I'm worried about the life of the components shortening, is this a problem if done carefully?
If it's not a problem, I will change CPU to 'K' model.
I'm thinking of leaving the SSD out for now for a better GPU.
So GTX 670, HD 7950 have been suggested, any others I should consider?

I really appreciate the fast help btw!
February 24, 2013 5:17:48 PM

desertraider said:
wow thanks for all the replies! I am willing to OC, but apart from not having any experience, I'm worried about the life of the components shortening, is this a problem if done carefully?
If it's not a problem, I will change CPU to 'K' model.
I'm thinking of leaving the SSD out for now for a better GPU.
So GTX 670, HD 7950 have been suggested, any others I should consider?

I really appreciate the fast help btw!


The "K" is designed for overclocking by Intel.
It is a simple matter of raising the multiplier in the bios from the default 34 to a higher number like 40 or 43.
These numbers do not increase the voltage and consequently the temperature very much.
Using a simple $30 cpu cooler like a cm hyper 212 or xigmatek you will have no issue with temperatures.
To my mind, longevity is not an issue if you do not fool with raising the cpu voltage; just leave it on auto.
Those seeking maximum overclocks push the cpu voltage to very high levels which might cause damage. You don't want to do that.
Even then, Intel is willing to sell them a no questions asked insurance policy for a replacement cpu if they should damage theirs even from incompetence.
I take that as evidence that they expect to make money and have high confidence in the longevity of their cpu's.
I would not waste my money on such a policy.

On the SSD, I might reverse your decision.
Start with a SSD of 120gb or even more. Defer on the hard drive.
It is much easier to install a ssd up front and add a hard drive later.
If you install on the hard drive first and wish to switch to a ssd later, you are looking at a windows re-install.
A 120gb ssd is sufficient for the OS and a handful of games. With a 180g or 240gb ssd, you may never need a hard drive at all.
Use a hard drive if necessary for bulk storage of large files such as video's.

There is relatively little improvement in performance to be had from pgrading a GTX670/7950 to a GTX680/7970 if you will be gaming on a single 1080P monitor.
Most will say it is not worth the incremental price.
February 24, 2013 5:56:04 PM

geofelt said:
The "K" is designed for overclocking by Intel.
It is a simple matter of raising the multiplier in the bios from the default 34 to a higher number like 40 or 43.
These numbers do not increase the voltage and consequently the temperature very much.
Using a simple $30 cpu cooler like a cm hyper 212 or xigmatek you will have no issue with temperatures.
To my mind, longevity is not an issue if you do not fool with raising the cpu voltage; just leave it on auto.
Those seeking maximum overclocks push the cpu voltage to very high levels which might cause damage. You don't want to do that.
Even then, Intel is willing to sell them a no questions asked insurance policy for a replacement cpu if they should damage theirs even from incompetence.
I take that as evidence that they expect to make money and have high confidence in the longevity of their cpu's.
I would not waste my money on such a policy.

On the SSD, I might reverse your decision.
Start with a SSD of 120gb or even more. Defer on the hard drive.
It is much easier to install a ssd up front and add a hard drive later.
If you install on the hard drive first and wish to switch to a ssd later, you are looking at a windows re-install.
A 120gb ssd is sufficient for the OS and a handful of games. With a 180g or 240gb ssd, you may never need a hard drive at all.
Use a hard drive if necessary for bulk storage of large files such as video's.

There is relatively little improvement in performance to be had from pgrading a GTX670/7950 to a GTX680/7970 if you will be gaming on a single 1080P monitor.
Most will say it is not worth the incremental price.


Ok, I see your point about the SSD, I will change to that. I'm pretty sure I won't need that much storage anyway. I will only use 1 monitor, so what GPU would you then recommend? GTX670/7950? Also is overclocking the GPU the same worth it as well? - and should I buy an overclocked one or do it manually?

Thanks! :) 
February 24, 2013 6:17:33 PM

desertraider said:
Ok, I see your point about the SSD, I will change to that. I'm pretty sure I won't need that much storage anyway. I will only use 1 monitor, so what GPU would you then recommend? GTX670/7950? Also is overclocking the GPU the same worth it as well? - and should I buy an overclocked one or do it manually?

Thanks! :) 

We all like to get something for nothing.
But graphics card makers are wise to overclocking and select the best chips to be used in their own factory overclocked versions that are sold at a price premium.
You probably get what you pay for with a factory overclocked card.
Past that, I would not bother.

I happen to like the Nvidia drivers better. But, realistically, it makes little difference.
you can pick either a GTX670 or 7950 and get a very nice graphics card.
I also like the double slot direct exhaust reference coolers typical of the EVGA offerings.
February 24, 2013 8:24:50 PM

geofelt said:
We all like to get something for nothing.
But graphics card makers are wise to overclocking and select the best chips to be used in their own factory overclocked versions that are sold at a price premium.
You probably get what you pay for with a factory overclocked card.
Past that, I would not bother.

I happen to like the Nvidia drivers better. But, realistically, it makes little difference.
you can pick either a GTX670 or 7950 and get a very nice graphics card.
I also like the double slot direct exhaust reference coolers typical of the EVGA offerings.


I also lean more towards Nvidia, as I've heard loads of people saying they are more reliable, superior quality etc... But the 7950 and 7970 come with 2 games as opposed to 1... so many choices!!!

Really appreciate your help thanks! :) 
February 25, 2013 3:30:07 AM

Take it from someone who bought SSD later...it's annoying to have to reinstall everything. So, get a SSD first.

Side note on SSD installation. Even if you have a separate HDD for storage, make sure you only connect the SSD during installation. After you install OS, then you can connect HDD.

For one monitor at 1080p: 660ti or 7950. I have Nvidia, but AMD is equal in quality. Also, if I wanted to buy a GPU and one had two or three games as a bonus, then I would have bought the 7950. That's why I recommend the 7950. 7970 is great but not really necessary for one 1080p monitor.

!