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Last built a rig in 2004,new build in~ $1000 range, how's this setup?

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February 25, 2013 8:59:03 PM

The last time I built a desktop PC for gaming was back in 2004 (256mb Radeon 9800 Pro was the bomb at that time) so needless to say it's been a while.

I originally was looking to make a $600ish setup but after configuring it I felt like it'd play a new game at Ultra right now but by this winter I'd have to be scaling new games back to keep up. So I started looking at mid range options (can't really go over $1,000) and came up w/ this configuration. (Don't have Windows so that has to be included)

My main reason for posting this is I want to know if doing a mid range gaming PC like this is going to play games at a reasonably high level for the next couple of years or would I need a $1500-$2000 setup to pull that off? If that's the case I'd rather just buy a $600 machine and then blow it out when I'm done with grad-school and can afford a monster.

Here's what I came up with

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($31.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Microcenter)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($22.99 @ Mac Mall)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1011.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-25 17:39 EST-0500)

I'm hoping to get the most I can out of this system and plan to play around with over clocking. How are my components for that purpose?

I have a 1TB internal HDD that I'll be putting in this and having used an SSD in my Air for the past year (and loving it), I really wanted to have my OS and the games I play the most booting off of that.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, I feel pretty good about all of these components but if there are cheaper/better options please feel free to share. This site has been a wealth of information so far and for that I thank the community, you guys are awesome.

More about : built rig 2004 build 1000 range setup

February 25, 2013 9:05:19 PM

Good part selection, but I really hope you never use that WiFi card. A build of this awesomeness should only use Ethernet cables. Since you plan on tinkering with overclocking, a Noctua CPU cooler will be better albeit more expensive.
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February 25, 2013 9:05:58 PM

And yes, this PC will do you good for years down the road.
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February 25, 2013 9:14:28 PM
February 25, 2013 9:39:23 PM

bogo663 said:
Good part selection, but I really hope you never use that WiFi card. A build of this awesomeness should only use Ethernet cables. Since you plan on tinkering with overclocking, a Noctua CPU cooler will be better albeit more expensive.


Yeah, I'm really hoping to figure out how to snake the ethernet to the second floor, only lived here for a semester and just have my laptop so WiFi's worked fine but a wired connection would definitely be worth it.

Michxymi, what's the difference between the 7870's we both posted? Would it be a noticeable boost?

I'm also pretty dead set on the i5 3570K, CPU and GPU are what I spent the most time researching and it just seems like it's the best processor I can get for that price.
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February 25, 2013 9:46:46 PM

br3wnor said:
Yeah, I'm really hoping to figure out how to snake the ethernet to the second floor, only lived here for a semester and just have my laptop so WiFi's worked fine but a wired connection would definitely be worth it.

Michxymi, what's the difference between the 7870's we both posted? Would it be a noticeable boost?

I'm also pretty dead set on the i5 3570K, CPU and GPU are what I spent the most time researching and it just seems like it's the best processor I can get for that price.


No it's definitely not the best. FX 8350 and 3570k has identical perfomance and trade blows depending on the game/program. Also AM3+ vs lga 1155 wise, the second one is already dead as the new CPUs from Intel wont support it while the AM3+ will be there for atleast one generation of CPUs. Also am3+ platform is cheaper and more value for money!

As for the 7870 tahity le yes it's significant faster as it uses 7950 core. It's only ~3% less powerful than a 7950/660ti and cheaper!
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February 25, 2013 10:02:04 PM

michxymi said:
No it's definitely not the best. FX 8350 and 3570k has identical perfomance and trade blows depending on the game/program. Also AM3+ vs lga 1155 wise, the second one is already dead as the new CPUs from Intel wont support it while the AM3+ will be there for atleast one generation of CPUs. Also am3+ platform is cheaper and more value for money!

As for the 7870 tahity le yes it's significant faster as it uses 7950 core. It's only ~3% less powerful than a 7950/660ti and cheaper!


But there in lies the problem with AMD - their socket is so old now that it's struggling to keep up with new CPUs. That's why the Bulldozer was such a failure. You try to introduce new instructions to a socket that can't handle it and you're doomed from the beginning. If AMD introduced new sockets with new CPUs this wouldn't be a problem. But they're still stuck on AM3 / AM3+.

Quote:
COUGAR Solution Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 12cm COUGAR TURBINE HYPER-SPIN Bearing Silent Fan and USB 3.0


LEPA N Series N500-SA 500W ATX12V Power Supply


Why that case and such a low tier PSU? Cheap power supplies are not worth it by any stretch of the imagination, I cannot stress that enough.
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February 25, 2013 10:15:03 PM

g-unit1111 said:
But there in lies the problem with AMD - their socket is so old now that it's struggling to keep up with new CPUs. That's why the Bulldozer was such a failure. You try to introduce new instructions to a socket that can't handle it and you're doomed from the beginning. If AMD introduced new sockets with new CPUs this wouldn't be a problem. But they're still stuck on AM3 / AM3+.

Quote:
COUGAR Solution Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 12cm COUGAR TURBINE HYPER-SPIN Bearing Silent Fan and USB 3.0


LEPA N Series N500-SA 500W ATX12V Power Supply


Why that case and such a low tier PSU? Cheap power supplies are not worth it by any stretch of the imagination, I cannot stress that enough.


Is there something that AM3+/SB950 doesn't offer? Native Sata & USB ports, 8X/8X Crossfire/SLI, high speed memory support....if you want to find that at 1155 side you need to pay atleast twice the money! Instructions have nothing to do with motherboard it's CPU's job.

As for the case and PSU, these are my favorite value choices!

This is a great case with plenty of room, silent fan and USB III in front panel, while the PSU is Enermax made 80+ Bronze...all of that for less than a 100$...what's not to like?
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February 25, 2013 10:22:46 PM

michxymi said:
Is there something that AM3+/SB950 doesn't offer? Native Sata & USB ports, 8X/8X Crossfire/SLI, high speed memory support....if you want to find that at 1155 side you need to pay atleast twice the money! Instructions have nothing to do with motherboard it's CPU's job.

As for the case and PSU, these are my favorite value choices!

This is a great case with plenty of room, silent fan and USB III in front panel, while the PSU is Enermax made 80+ Bronze...all of that for less than a 100$...what's not to like?


After checking it out that case actually isn't that bad for the price. It actually has cable management where a lot in that range don't. I'd rather go for the Corsair 200R myself but that's not bad.

Quote:
Is there something that AM3+/SB950 doesn't offer? Native Sata & USB ports, 8X/8X Crossfire/SLI, high speed memory support....if you want to find that at 1155 side you need to pay atleast twice the money! Instructions have nothing to do with motherboard it's CPU's job.


Not at all. If you're willing to forgo overclocking you can get an H77 motherboard and i5-3470 or i5-3350P for $258 ($179 CPU + $79 motherboard) and that's less than the same price as going with a socket 970 motherboard, FX-8320, and Hyper 212 Evo ($90 motherboard, $179 CPU, $32 cooler, totaling $301). I look at it that way. Both of the Intel CPUs will perform at a slightly less level than the FX-8350 but it's not that big of a tradeoff. I kind of think of future proofing as a moot point in most cases. Not everyone is willing to shill out $200 or $300 for a new CPU every year and by the time you are ready there's always going to be something better. It's part of Moore's law: the number of transistors in a circuit will double every two years and it's something that is inevitable.
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February 25, 2013 10:36:11 PM

g-unit1111 said:
After checking it out that case actually isn't that bad for the price. It actually has cable management where a lot in that range don't. I'd rather go for the Corsair 200R myself but that's not bad.

Quote:
Is there something that AM3+/SB950 doesn't offer? Native Sata & USB ports, 8X/8X Crossfire/SLI, high speed memory support....if you want to find that at 1155 side you need to pay atleast twice the money! Instructions have nothing to do with motherboard it's CPU's job.


Not at all. If you're willing to forgo overclocking you can get an H77 motherboard and i5-3470 or i5-3350P for $258 ($179 CPU + $79 motherboard) and that's less than the same price as going with a socket 970 motherboard, FX-8320, and Hyper 212 Evo ($90 motherboard, $179 CPU, $32 cooler, totaling $301). I look at it that way. Both of the Intel CPUs will perform at a slightly less level than the FX-8350 but it's not that big of a tradeoff. I kind of think of future proofing as a moot point in most cases. Not everyone is willing to shill out $200 or $300 for a new CPU every year and by the time you are ready there's always going to be something better. It's part of Moore's law: the number of transistors in a circuit will double every two years and it's something that is inevitable.


And now let me tell you my point of view. Assuming I don't want to overclock.

AMD FX 8320 (179$) + Asrock 970 Extreme4 (the most value AM3+ board) = 267$

Intel i5 3470 (199$) + Asrock H77 PRO4/MVP (not even close to 970 extreme4 specs) = 279$

That's a 30$ difference. Not much, but with 30$ less I have the same perfomance (more or less) plus I can overclock or go Crossfire/SLI when I want.

As for the upgrade path. If I want to upgrade with Intel, I have to change motherboard and CPU (another 250$ let's say) while with AMD all I have to do is buy a new CPU (150, 180$ the most)
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February 25, 2013 10:53:59 PM

michxymi said:
And now let me tell you my point of view. Assuming I don't want to overclock.

AMD FX 8320 (179$) + Asrock 970 Extreme4 (the most value AM3+ board) = 267$

Intel i5 3470 (199$) + Asrock H77 PRO4/MVP (not even close to 970 extreme4 specs) = 279$

That's a 30$ difference. Not much, but with 30$ less I have the same perfomance (more or less) plus I can overclock or go Crossfire/SLI when I want.

As for the upgrade path. If I want to upgrade with Intel, I have to change motherboard and CPU (another 250$ let's say) while with AMD all I have to do is buy a new CPU (150, 180$ the most)


How are those motherboards not even close in comparison? I'm not entirely sure I get that one.

Yeah that is a huge pain about Intel but every CPU benchmark on the planet will say that they're better than AMD. So you trade performance for the fact that you have to buy a new motherboard and CPU every time you upgrade. With AMD the performance isn't as comparable but you do get the upgradability factor.
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February 25, 2013 11:07:53 PM

g-unit1111 said:
How are those motherboards not even close in comparison? I'm not entirely sure I get that one.

Yeah that is a huge pain about Intel but every CPU benchmark on the planet will say that they're better than AMD. So you trade performance for the fact that you have to buy a new motherboard and CPU every time you upgrade. With AMD the performance isn't comparable but you do get the upgradability factor.


After a quick comparison of those from their site

- 970 Extreme4 supports up to 2100Mhz Ram 64GB while the H77 Pro4/MVP up to 1600 32GB. Not something huge but higher speed RAM helps at OC.

- Front USB III for Extreme4 while only back for H77 PRO4/MVP

- Native SATA and USB III ports for 970 Extreme4

- And the most important 2 PCI-E 8x/8x for Crossfire/SLI for 970 Extreme4 none for H77 PRO4/MVP

As for the CPU perfomance, benchmarks done from real users and not the ones that favor either Intel or AMD, shows similar perfomance and slighty difference according to programs/games either for Intel or AMD. That's what I see with my setup and a similar friend's setup, that's what I say.
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February 25, 2013 11:19:43 PM

Quote:
- 970 Extreme4 supports up to 2100Mhz Ram 64GB while the H77 Pro4/MVP up to 1600 32GB. Not something huge but higher speed RAM helps at OC.

- Front USB III for Extreme4 while only back for H77 PRO4/MVP


I know at least on the APUs that the higher RAM speeds are required in order to get the most out of the iGPU but I'm not entirely sure that is the case with the older Phenoms and current FX series.

Front USB isn't a necessity - if you really need it you can buy a front mounting from Silverstone or Cooler Master for $10.

Quote:
- And the most important 2 PCI-E 8x/8x for Crossfire/SLI for 970 Extreme4 none for H77 PRO4/MVP


Now that is something I didn't know. If you want to go SLI or Crossfire you don't want to slow that second card down. OK I get that part.

Quote:
As for the CPU perfomance, benchmarks done from real users and not the ones that favor either Intel or AMD, shows similar perfomance and slighty difference according to programs/games either for Intel or AMD. That's what I see with my setup and a similar friend's setup, that's what I say.


As I'm currently taking a class that teaches people how to debunk surveys and advertising, I'm generally skeptical of a lot of the stuff that gets posted on Youtube - especially things like CPU benchmarks. I've checked out a few of those and there's so many comments by people who are quick to call BS, although then again it is Youtube. :lol: 
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February 25, 2013 11:27:13 PM

Yep you need atleast 8x/8x if you want to Crossfire or SLI. FX also need high speed RAM, plus the prices are around the same for 1600, 1866 or even 2133 ;) 

For sure I don't know if what is posted is true, but atleast from my own experiments I have made some decisions :D 
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February 25, 2013 11:28:48 PM

Is it worth an extra $45 for this cooler if I wanna over clock?

Noctua 6 NH-D14

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February 25, 2013 11:28:56 PM

michxymi said:
Yep you need atleast 8x/8x if you want to Crossfire or SLI. FX also need high speed RAM, plus the prices are around the same for 1600, 1866 or even 2133 ;) 

For sure I don't know if what is posted is true, but atleast from my own experiments I have made some decisions :D 


Yeah on Intel builds the RAM generally doesn't make that much of a difference, and because the design puts the memory controller on the CPU die itself then that's why Intel generally frowns on high speed RAM.
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