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Help with my first gaming build £1200 ($1900)

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October 16, 2012 6:38:13 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of this year. Will be buying it in stages, a couple of parts each month, hoping to buy motherboard and cpu next month.

Budget Range: Roughly £1200 ($1900)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mainly gaming. Mostly going to be using it to play Planetside 2, dota 2, WoW, BF3

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade: Everything, however I am hoping that seen as I am going to be buying it in stages I can use my current hardware until I swap everything out.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, overclocker, dabs, ebuyer, scan

Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Parts Preferences: Intel, Asus

Overclocking: I would like to overclock if I am able but have no knowloedge of how to do so, any help and advice would be appreciated.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 is what I currently use but I would also maybe like to be able to upgrade at a later date.

Additional Comments: As stated above it's mainly going to be used for gaming. Mostly WoW, Dota 2 and Planetside 2. I'm going to be buying the parts a few at a time over the next few months and the plan is to use them as i get them in my current machine to sort of slowly upgrade my current one bit by a bit until nothing is left of how it is now. If this won't work I'm happy to wait til I have all the parts together, will just take a little longer.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Atm I'm playing a lot of planetside 2 and it doesn't run aswell as I would like. Also want to be able to play future games comfortably.

Here is a link to a build I have made myself, but as it is my first build I have no idea what I'm doing so just thrown it together:
Build

More about : gaming build 1200 1900

a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 6:43:32 PM

There are AMD CPUs coming out soon, AMD graphics cards are rumored to be launching soon, and other things going on. Are you sure that you want to get to work on upgrading right now?
October 16, 2012 6:47:29 PM

blazorthon said:
There are AMD CPUs coming out soon, AMD graphics cards are rumored to be launching soon, and other things going on. Are you sure that you want to get to work on upgrading right now?


Isn't AMD ATI? And this line of thinking could go on for ever, by the time all that stuff comes out there will probably rumors of new parts coming out just around the corner.
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October 16, 2012 6:50:01 PM

I would go for the GPU first, as AMD is coming out with new processors soon, I think they might be holding back with some of those ones that they released for testing, as if they are lower tier.
only time will tell, also, I would go with Dual 7870 Hawk's, offer the same performance as a 7950, with little difference, two of them would demolish anything in its path.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 6:51:28 PM

New AMD CPUs are literally launching this month (we've already got the first wave, Trinity, on the market and are just waiting for Vishera) and cards from their next graphics series are due by November or December of this year.

AMD bought Ati several years ago. They're not the same, but Ati is owned by AMD. AMD started branding their graphics cards as AMD instead of Ati with the Radeon 6xxx series and newer. The Radeon 8xxx series is coming up with the 88xx cards supposedly launching first and competing with today's highest end cards in performance at very low prices.

Still, if you want to go with parts that are currently out, then I could make recommendations.

Do you really want a mini-ITX system? That really limits what you have to work with compared to even Micro-ATX, let alone ATX.
October 16, 2012 7:02:20 PM

blazorthon said:
New AMD CPUs are literally launching this month (we've already got the first wave, Trinity, on the market and are just waiting for Vishera) and cards from their next graphics series are due by November or December of this year.

AMD bought Ati several years ago. They're not the same, but Ati is owned by AMD. AMD started branding their graphics cards as AMD instead of Ati with the Radeon 6xxx series and newer. The Radeon 8xxx series is coming up with the 88xx cards supposedly launching first and competing with today's highest end cards in performance at very low prices.

Still, if you want to go with parts that are currently out, then I could make recommendations.

Do you really want a mini-ITX system? That really limits what you have to work with compared to even Micro-ATX, let alone ATX.


Sorry I am unfamiliar what you mean by mini-ITX. I don't want to limit myself so no I guess I don't, wasn't aware I had picked mini-ITX. Well if the CPUs are releasing this month that is fine as I won't be buying the first parts till next month. If one is superior to the i7 isn't it likely it will also have a price increase? However I would still like suggestions on what available tech would be a better build than the one I linked as by the sounds of it no one knows for sure how good these AMD CPUs are going to be?
October 16, 2012 7:03:14 PM

Kiowa789 said:
I would go for the GPU first, as AMD is coming out with new processors soon, I think they might be holding back with some of those ones that they released for testing, as if they are lower tier.
only time will tell, also, I would go with Dual 7870 Hawk's, offer the same performance as a 7950, with little difference, two of them would demolish anything in its path.


If 2 Hawk's offer the same performance as a single 7950 why would it be better to switch? Sorry I'm not really very familiar with current hardware.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 7:11:33 PM

ashmcgough1 said:
If 2 Hawk's offer the same performance as a single 7950 why would it be better to switch? Sorry I'm not really very familiar with current hardware.


Hawks are generally cheaper than 7950s. The 7950 still has the advantage in overclocking, just not at stock.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 7:15:35 PM

ashmcgough1 said:
Sorry I am unfamiliar what you mean by mini-ITX. I don't want to limit myself so no I guess I don't, wasn't aware I had picked mini-ITX. Well if the CPUs are releasing this month that is fine as I won't be buying the first parts till next month. If one is superior to the i7 isn't it likely it will also have a price increase? However I would still like suggestions on what available tech would be a better build than the one I linked as by the sounds of it no one knows for sure how good these AMD CPUs are going to be?


Mini-ITX is the form factor of your motherboard and case choice in your partial build. It's a very small form factor that doesn't support very powerful systems.

How good AMD CPUs are is surprisingly subjective. For example, if you loo at them at stock, they often suck quite badly. However, if you put a few minutes of work into them, they can perform extremely well for any task that you want to do with them. For example, taking an eight core model such as the FX-8120 and either disabling or cutting down the P states of and de-prioritizing the second core of each module not only gives the first core of each module a considerable performance boost, but it cuts power consumption greatly, allowing for greater overclocking. Overclocking the CPU/NB frequency as well as the CPU frequency and doing the CPU core configuration modification let the FX-81xx CPUs hang with the K edition i5s and i7s in gaming performance whereas they'd be struggling to beat stock i3s without that.

If you'd rather have a simpler job of building then go Intel. If you would like to save a little cash while doing a little more work to get similar performance, go AMD.
October 16, 2012 8:31:27 PM

I see. I think i'd rather go with Intel then as it's my first build. Anyone else have any suggestions? Also i'd like to get some input on the actual components because so far all i've seem to have been told is to wait for AMD.
October 16, 2012 8:34:56 PM

ashmcgough1 said:
I see. I think i'd rather go with Intel then as it's my first build. Anyone else have any suggestions? Also i'd like to get some input on the actual components because so far all i've seem to have been told is to wait for AMD.


All right, Intel it is. Sorry, we just had to get the basics such as brands and form factor ironed out before accurate recommendations could be made, I'll get right on that.
October 16, 2012 8:42:15 PM

luciferano said:
All right, Itel it is. Sorry, we just had to get the basics such as brands and form factor ironed out before accurate recommendations could be made, I'll get right on that.


Thanks, I appreciate the advise everyone is giving, just slightly confused.
October 16, 2012 8:46:00 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/kwet

What do you think of this? It's just under $1200 and has a very powerful GTX 660 TI SLI setup with a multiplier-unlocked i5-3570K for overclocking with a decent CPU cooler to hit around 4.5-4.6GHz or so. I went as far as to get a good case and a great PSU and a good motherboard too, so no sacrifices except for the cheap optical disk drive and really, paying more for one of those won't help unless you want Blu-Ray support.

However, I' m a little skeptical about you not having a hard drive. I'd recommend also having something such as this if you're not just keeping your current hard drive:

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/western-digital-interna...

normally, I recommend AMD cards, but that 660 TI's price was right and your game choice looks like it is primarily Nvidia-favoring AFAIK. However, with such graphics power for a 1080p display, AMD might have the advantage anyway, IDK, but you seem like you'd prefer Nvidia over AMD.

If you'd prefer AMD graphics, this'd be my recommendation if you don't overclock or don't overclock much:
two of these: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/msi-video-card-r7870haw...
For overclocking, two of these would be my recommendation:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/xfx-video-card-fx795atd...
October 16, 2012 9:37:15 PM

luciferano said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/kwet

What do you think of this? It's just under $1200 and has a very powerful GTX 660 TI SLI setup with a multiplier-unlocked i5-3570K for overclocking with a decent CPU cooler to hit around 4.5-4.6GHz or so. I went as far as to get a good case and a great PSU and a good motherboard too, so no sacrifices except for the cheap optical disk drive and really, paying more for one of those won't help unless you want Blu-Ray support.

However, I' m a little skeptical about you not having a hard drive. I'd recommend also having something such as this if you're not just keeping your current hard drive:

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/western-digital-interna...

normally, I recommend AMD cards, but that 660 TI's price was right and your game choice looks like it is primarily Nvidia-favoring AFAIK. However, with such graphics power for a 1080p display, AMD might have the advantage anyway, IDK, but you seem like you'd prefer Nvidia over AMD.

If you'd prefer AMD graphics, this'd be my recommendation if you don't overclock or don't overclock much:
two of these: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/msi-video-card-r7870haw...
For overclocking, two of these would be my recommendation:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/xfx-video-card-fx795atd...


Thanks a lot for you input! I've noticed you chose an I5 over an I7. Is there a reason for this, or is it just to meet the budget? In which case would i better shelling out ane extra £100 to get an I7?
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 9:43:28 PM

ashmcgough1 said:
Thanks a lot for you input! I've noticed you chose an I5 over an I7. Is there a reason for this, or is it just to meet the budget? In which case would i better shelling out ane extra £100 to get an I7?


i7s don't really beat i5s in gaming. i7's performance advantage is almost purely in highly threaded performance, something that gaming generally is not. The only game that I can name for sure that would be able to take advantage of the i7 is BF3 MP with like 48 to 64 players in a large map and even then, good i5s such as the i5-3550, i5-3570, and i5-3570K can easily maintain around 60FPS even without overclocking, so you'd need a monitor with an abnormally high refresh rate and very powerful graphics to make use of more than what the i5s offer. Basically, i7s are generally wastes of money for gaming computers and the one situation where I can guarantee where they'd matter is only for very high end systems. Most people who buy i7s for gaming computers do it for bragging rights.
October 16, 2012 9:47:08 PM

blazorthon said:
i7s don't really beat i5s in gaming. i7's performance advantage is almost purely in highly threaded performance, something that gaming generally is not. The only game that I can name for sure that would be able to take advantage of the i7 is BF3 MP with like 48 to 64 players in a large map and even then, good i5s such as the i5-3550, i5-3570, and i5-3570K can easily maintain around 60FPS even without overclocking, so you'd need a monitor with an abnormally high refresh rate and very powerful graphics to make use of more than what the i5s offer. Basically, i7s are generally wastes of money for gaming computers and the one situation where I can guarantee where they'd matter is only for very high end systems. Most people who buy i7s for gaming computers do it for bragging rights.


I see, thanks. I do play bf3 though so that might be something to consider, however spending an extra £100 just for bf3 probably isn't worth it. Would getting an I7 not make it more future proof though in the long run?
October 16, 2012 9:48:49 PM

ashmcgough1 said:
I see, thanks. I do play bf3 though so that might be something to consider, however spending an extra £100 just for bf3 probably isn't worth it. Would getting an I7 not make it more future proof though in the long run?


No, getting an i7 does not seem worth it to me.
October 16, 2012 10:56:55 PM

luciferano said:
No, getting an i7 does not seem worth it to me.


Yeah, you're probably right. Although what about taking one gpu for now instead of 2, then i could get a 2nd one in a few months time. Something like 680 and then buying another one to SLI in say 4 months time(budget irelevant)?
Or is that not worth it either?

Also I do not need the price of the OS to be factored into the budget.

Thanks a lot for you're help.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 1:36:30 AM

ashmcgough1 said:
Yeah, you're probably right. Although what about taking one gpu for now instead of 2, then i could get a 2nd one in a few months time. Something like 680 and then buying another one to SLI in say 4 months time(budget irelevant)?
Or is that not worth it either?

Also I do not need the price of the OS to be factored into the budget.

Thanks a lot for you're help.


A GTX 680 won't be able to compete with two GTX 660 Ti cards in SLI, but if you want to start off with single GPU card, it's not a bad idea. However, that EVGA model is not one that I'd recommend. EVGA has incredible customer service, but their card quality is lacking.

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/msi-video-card-n680gtxl...

That card is both cheaper and higher quality with roughly identical performance at stock (much more overclocking headroom, but only overclock if you want to do that).

Heck, I'd even recommend this great GTX 670 over that EVGA 680:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/zotac-video-card-zt6030...
October 17, 2012 4:26:52 PM

blazorthon said:
A GTX 680 won't be able to compete with two GTX 660 Ti cards in SLI, but if you want to start off with single GPU card, it's not a bad idea. However, that EVGA model is not one that I'd recommend. EVGA has incredible customer service, but their card quality is lacking.

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/msi-video-card-n680gtxl...

That card is both cheaper and higher quality with roughly identical performance at stock (much more overclocking headroom, but only overclock if you want to do that).

Heck, I'd even recommend this great GTX 670 over that EVGA 680:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/zotac-video-card-zt6030...


I see, would an i5 still work fine with 2 of those MSIs? Also could i still get the Asus P8Z77-V if i wished, or is the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 superior in some way?
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 4:40:33 PM

The CPU has nothing to do with graphics card compatibility, at least not in modern computers. The i5 won't cause any problems with those graphics cards.

The Extreme 4 is cheaper and would do the same job pretty much the same way. You can buy the Asus P8Z77-V of you want too, but I'd recommend the Extreme 4 because the Asus P8Z77-V is more expensive for little gain.
October 17, 2012 11:09:35 PM

I have done some reading in the "Graphics Cards" forum about the MSI card and people there seem to think it's not as good as EVGA because it's over engineered for overclocking but the voltage is locked.

Anyone else have any opinions on this? Also if I increased by budget to £1500 ($2,420) how much more performance would i be able to get (not including OS or second GPU, I will buy a 2nd GPU to SLI at a later date, so i guess if you could find me a build that would perform well in SLI but would only cost £1.5k with the first graphics card(that probably doesn't make much sense :(  ))? Sorry if I'm sounding like a bit of an idiot but all these conflicting opinions and numbers getting thrown around is very confusing.
October 18, 2012 6:37:14 PM

Case also need not be factored into the price.
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2012 3:05:28 PM

Single GPU cards don't really get much better than a GTX 670 and 680. They are Nvidia's top single GPU cards right now, so increasing budget doesn't really matter if you're only looking for a single GPU card to start off with. You could go with a better model, but it won't change things greatly. I don't think that you can get much better than the MSI GTX 680 Lightning for GTX 680s. However, this Asus 680 might be better:
http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/asus-video-card-gtx680d...

It's the MSI PE cards, not that Lightning, that have the overvoltage issue (the voltage, even if it was locked, was higher than reference from Nvidia on the PE cards, so even if you didn't alter it, it caused issues for some people, but that MSI Lightning card doesn't have that issue). New PE units are supposed to have reference voltages anyway, so the issue should be solved on new models anyway.

Some Radeons 79xx models can usually overclock a little better than even the best Nvidia cards (caused by a mix of Nvidia's thin memory buses and Nvidia's often poor quality power delivery components with voltage locking), but then you're getting into AMD 79xx versus Nvidia 670/680 rather than what's the best Nvidia card.
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