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First Build - Budget $2500 - Thoughts?

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February 28, 2013 5:37:15 PM

Hey everybody! This is my first thread on Toms Hardware and I thought this was perfect to get some opinions on the components I've selected for my first PC build. I will be using this for very demanding video editing, gaming (high demanding games like Crysis 3), and Music production. I want it to be really fast and have plenty of storage. I'm going for an all black build with lighting effects from the NZXT Hue and maybe a few other lighting features. Also I'm trying to stay clear of water cooling for now. Eventually I will do a custom loop but until then I will just stick with air unless It's absolutely necessary to use liquid cooling. Remember this is only my first build so be nice.. haha ;)  Although I have done quite a bit of research to find these components. My budget is around $2500 give or take a little. So tell me what you think. Good? Bad? start over? Part suggestions? Anything. I'm all ears and ready to learn!

Specs:

Case - Corsair 800D - $279.99

Mobo - MSI Z77 Mpower - $199.99

CPU - Intel i7 3770K - $329.99 (Overclocked with OC Genie from MSI)

Video Card - EVGA Geforce GTX 670 FTW+ - $449.99

Power Supply - Seasonic X Series Fully Moduar 850W Power Supply - $169.99

Memory - Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Ram DDR3 1600 32GB - $199.99 (I know that 32GB is way overkill but from what I've learned it helps with high demand video editing/rendering ALOT!)

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 2TB Hard Drive - $104.99 (I had a hard time deciding on a hard drive. I'm still unsure.)

SSD - 2x Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB SSD - $198.94 each

CPU Cooler - Phanteks PH-TC14PE Black CPU Cooler - $89.99 (Deciding between this and the Noctua NH-D14 but leaning more towards the Phanteks)

Sound Card - Asus Xonar D1 7.1 Sound Card - $89.99

140mm Fans - 3x Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 140mm PWM Case Fan - $19.99 each (Replacing the Corsair 800D 140mm stock case fans with these. I will be filling all the spots for fans for maximum cooling)

120mm Fans - 4x Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120mm Case Fan - $19.89 (I will use these to fill all 120mm fan Spaces in 800D. I'm considering painting black them. Thoughts about the painting?)

Fan Controller - AeroCool touch 2100 Fan Controller - $63.99 (I'm using these PWM Fan Splitter Cables to connect all my fans to the 2100. I will put 2 fans on all the channels but 1. I have already figured out which fans will work the best together on the same channel.)

Lighting - NZXT HUE LED Controller - $32.99 (I thought I could get some cool lighting effects out of this)

Optical - LG DVD Burner - $17.99




Please leave your suggestions! :) 
February 28, 2013 5:41:07 PM

Your build is solid and I couldn't find a thing wrong with it.
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March 1, 2013 3:27:17 PM

redguy54 said:
Your build is solid and I couldn't find a thing wrong with it.


Thanks for the reply! Really? There is nothing I could change? Wow cool! What about a monitor? Do you have any suggestions? I was looking at the Asus VG248QE Black 24"
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March 1, 2013 3:47:08 PM

CBTech23 said:
Thanks for the reply! Really? There is nothing I could change? Wow cool! What about a monitor? Do you have any suggestions? I was looking at the Asus VG248QE Black 24"


Seems quite good to me :p 
Have a look Here....
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March 1, 2013 3:49:04 PM

CBTech23 said:
Thanks for the reply! Really? There is nothing I could change? Wow cool! What about a monitor? Do you have any suggestions? I was looking at the Asus VG248QE Black 24"


I actually would change a couple things.

1st, you really DO NOT NEED A SOUND CARD, unless you plan on playing hard core games and you need to here every little footstep behind you, it simply is not necessary, most headsets will easily produce 5.1 virtual surround sound, and it will sound fantastic. It will hardly benefit your production of music as well there is little to no difference, dedicating it to the cpu will be fine.

2nd, the motherboard is fine as is but you could change it to a different brand that is better for overclocking like the asrock z77 extreme series motherboards or the asus z77 V series. Both of those are fantastic intuitive boards that are great for the money.

3rd, You will see better performance out of the 7970 GHz edition for the same price as the 670, you really should look into those cards as they will perform a whole lot better than the 670, in every single game to boot.

4th, your PSU is a bit to large unless you plan on going for SLI/CrossfireX you can go down to a 600w PSU and you will have plenty of headroom for overclocking etc.

5th, get the noctua D-14 it is literally the best air CPU cooler you can get and it should actually be cheaper than that of the phanteks cooler.

Otherwise besides those changes that is what i would go for. The Asus monitor is great, if you do not mind though here is a 23" monitor: Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($158.98 @ Newegg), it is probably the best rated on newegg.
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March 1, 2013 3:49:54 PM

ChairmanSaab said:
Seems quite good to me :p 
Have a look Here....

Exact card you should switch from the 670 to. That is by far the best choice in video card you can make at this price point.
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March 1, 2013 4:06:46 PM

ChairmanSaab said:
Seems quite good to me :p 
Have a look Here....


I definitely considered that card but I here that the GTX 670 FTW+ is better for rendering and video effects. Although I could be wrong. I'll check out the benchmarks to be sure. Also the fact the 7970 has 3GB and the 670 FTW+ has 4 affects the buy as well. I'm more familiar with Nvidia cards too but I will do more research before I make my final decision. Thanks for your suggestion!
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March 1, 2013 4:22:57 PM

Actually, the HD 7970 is far superior to the GTX 670 when it comes to opencl performance and compute performance overall.
It's only real competitor on the Nvidia side when it comes to computing is the Titan.
But there are currently some issues with crossfire that are yet to be ironed out.
Actually the issue is only one. Micro-Stuttering.
AMD is working hard to resolve it, but for the time being SLI is the better solution.

The GTX 670's 4GB memory doesn't benefit the card at all to be honest.
The only place where you will see FPS gain is in situations in which your FPS is already too low for the game to be playable, due to lack of GPU power and bandwidth.
Two things that the HD 7970 has the upper hand in.

So... if you want the best performance, go for the HD 7970.
If you want the smoothest gameplay, go for GTX 680's.(Still less powerfull than the HD 7970 GHZ)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you'd like the highest quality power supply, go with either this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 1, 2013 4:29:44 PM

CBTech23 said:
I definitely considered that card but I here that the GTX 670 FTW+ is better for rendering and video effects. Although I could be wrong. I'll check out the benchmarks to be sure. Also the fact the 7970 has 3GB and the 670 FTW+ has 4 affects the buy as well. I'm more familiar with Nvidia cards too but I will do more research before I make my final decision. Thanks for your suggestion!


If you wanna use Phsyx and TxAA then go for Nvidia else 7970 is better choice.
IMO if you can surpass 3GB then 4GB will be not enough.
Btw 7970Ghz that i listed above have optimal cooling atleast better than 670FTW.
Good Luck!
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March 1, 2013 5:36:22 PM

Kamen_BG said:
Actually, the HD 7970 is far superior to the GTX 670 when it comes to opencl performance and compute performance overall.
It's only real competitor on the Nvidia side when it comes to computing is the Titan.
But there are currently some issues with crossfire that are yet to be ironed out.
Actually the issue is only one. Micro-Stuttering.
AMD is working hard to resolve it, but for the time being SLI is the better solution.

The GTX 670's 4GB memory doesn't benefit the card at all to be honest.
The only place where you will see FPS gain is in situations in which your FPS is already too low for the game to be playable, due to lack of GPU power and bandwidth.
Two things that the HD 7970 has the upper hand in.

So... if you want the best performance, go for the HD 7970.
If you want the smoothest gameplay, go for GTX 680's.(Still less powerfull than the HD 7970 GHZ)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you'd like the highest quality power supply, go with either this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm getting convinced about switching to the 7970 now. The 670ftw+ is said to out perform the 680 and it's a better price so I would do the 670ftw+ over that. But it really sounds like the 7970 is just flat out better than both. I don't know if i would compare it to the titan but it definitely seems like a great card. How loud will the 3 fans be on the 7970? I'm trying to make this build really quiet. And I won't be doing a crossfire or SLI setup so that is not an issue for me. Keep in mind that this is primarily a video editing PC. Gaming will be done while recording with FRAPS. But not nearly as much gaming will be done as editing will.

Also do the cables come sleeved with the corsair PSU that you mentioned? For me it's important that they are sleeved.
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March 1, 2013 6:00:40 PM

burritobob said:
I actually would change a couple things.

1st, you really DO NOT NEED A SOUND CARD, unless you plan on playing hard core games and you need to here every little footstep behind you, it simply is not necessary, most headsets will easily produce 5.1 virtual surround sound, and it will sound fantastic. It will hardly benefit your production of music as well there is little to no difference, dedicating it to the cpu will be fine.

2nd, the motherboard is fine as is but you could change it to a different brand that is better for overclocking like the asrock z77 extreme series motherboards or the asus z77 V series. Both of those are fantastic intuitive boards that are great for the money.

3rd, You will see better performance out of the 7970 GHz edition for the same price as the 670, you really should look into those cards as they will perform a whole lot better than the 670, in every single game to boot.

4th, your PSU is a bit to large unless you plan on going for SLI/CrossfireX you can go down to a 600w PSU and you will have plenty of headroom for overclocking etc.

5th, get the noctua D-14 it is literally the best air CPU cooler you can get and it should actually be cheaper than that of the phanteks cooler.

Otherwise besides those changes that is what i would go for. The Asus monitor is great, if you do not mind though here is a 23" monitor: Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($158.98 @ Newegg), it is probably the best rated on newegg.


1.) I'm a bit of an audiophile and can hear even minute differences in music. I'll be using some very nice Sennheiser headphones with with this.

2.) I looked at both of those boards and ruled out the asus because of the color and The MSI was better than the asrock in my book and it has everything I need on it!

3.) Definitely considering the 7970 GHz over the gtx 670 FTW+. But how much louder will the fans make it? And I'm very interested in Physx (only for Kepler) and TxAA (also for Kepler) How will not having Physx and TxAA affect the performance differences. Also would the 7970 beat out a 680FTW?

4.) Thanks for that. Taken into consideration for sure

5.) Based on the Specs of the 2 coolers, the Phanteks out does the D14 in sound and overall performance. Also it will go with my black themed build much better.

Thanks for your suggestions!
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March 2, 2013 12:54:33 AM

I have decided to upgrade to the 680FTW. I chose this to utilize sony vegas and premier pro to their maximum potential as they both use CUDA Cores not Stream Processing units. I spent a lot of time researching this and overall this is the best compromise for me. It is about $80 more but I think it should be worth it.
Thanks for your help! Continue to send in your thoughts though because I'm not ordering his for about another week or so and I want it to be perfect.
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