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Final Build Critique - £1200 Gaming System

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May 22, 2012 6:48:02 PM

Hi all,

Already had some really useful help from the community, but planning on purchasing this weekend so looking for any final thoughts on the build! Main objective is getting the best gaming performance for the budget...

Thanks in advance for any responses.

-

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few days

Budget Range: Around £1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebuyer.com

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: 24" Monitor, Mid Tower Case

Overclocking: Would like to have the option to

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, when necessary

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

-

Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor (£180)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/349029

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 Socket 775, 1156, 1155, 1366, AM2, AM3 Heatpipe CPU Cooler (£15)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176157

Asus P8Z77-V Socket 1155 VGA DVI DisplayPort HDMI 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard (£130)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/363230

Corsair 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Blue "LOW PROFILE" CL9 1.5V (£40)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/274036

Sapphire HD 7870 GHZ OC Edition 2GB GDDR5 HDMI DVI Dual Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card (£270)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/349750

Corsair TX 750W V2 PSU - 80plus Bronze Certified (£95)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/257232

Crucial 256GB M4 SSD - 2.5" SATA-III - Read 500MB/s Write 260MB/s (£180)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/318421

Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache (£55)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/272944

Sharkoon T9 Case - White Edition (£45)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/262922

Monitor - A 2ms 1900x1080 (around £150-£200)
May 22, 2012 7:58:11 PM

you can get some mushkin enhanced frostbyte ram. they have good heat spreader and they are low profile. i also recommend getting a hyper 212.
May 22, 2012 8:58:54 PM

The RAM is fine, you don't need heat spreaders on em.

Why do you need such a big SSD? Why not get a smaller one, and get a bigger HDD and save some money at the same time.

You won't need a 750W PSU unless you are using 2 graphics cards, but I don't know how serious you are about that.

It's always good to get an upgraded cpu heatsink/fan. You can overclock a little with stock fans, but these processors run hot once overclocking.

I would get a better GPU, maybe a GTX 670. If you got a smaller SSD, or able to shift money anywhere else, I would use the money on better GPU.
Related resources
May 22, 2012 11:23:53 PM

Thanks for the responses guys.

On the GPU front I think you are right, looking at the benchmarks the 670 seems like the obvious choice at this point so I will go for that over the 7870. Can't find a decent 670 range comparison, but I am guessing the Gigabyte Windforce is the best option?

Since the MOBO has the capacity for SLI, I think it is probably worth sticking with the 750W over the 650W (about £30 more) so I have the option to SLI in the future if it seems appropriate.

The plan for the storage is that I want to run the OS and all apps from the SSD while having the HDD for stuff like movies and music only. My concern is that I will fill up 128GB in no time once I get steam up and running and get a few MMOs installed...

And as for cooling I previously had the Freezer 7 and found it to be pretty awesome for a £15 cooler. So thats mainly chosen through familiarity. However, I am happy to take suggestions on better coolers (like the mentioned hyper 212 - thanks BigTroll) if anyone thinks there will be a noticable difference?

Hope that all makes sense!
May 23, 2012 1:04:32 AM

Windforce is a great option, would be one of my top 3 choices (if not #1).

It honestly depends on how many games you play I guess, lol.

I am putting steam on my HDD. For now, just OS and D3 on SSD. It's all preference. Some games (like D3 ironically) don't really need to be on a SSD because they pre-cache (or w/e the term).

I don't plan on ever having my SSD past 75% and hopefully not near it either. Once your SSD starts to fill up, it starts to slow up.
May 23, 2012 10:19:09 PM

Thanks for the info on SSDs. Its will be the first time I've had one so I guess I will go for the 128gb for just the OS and key apps.

Going with the 670 I am thinking it is less likely I will look to SLI. If I was to take SLI out of the equation, would you recommend a drop to a 650W PSU and maybe a cheaper motherboard? I'm wondering if I could actually save £75 by doing both...

Taking onboard the other comments, here is where I am at (I have also decided to switch to scan.co.uk):

Intel Core i5 3570K (£170)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO (£25)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...

Asus P8Z77-V (£135)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z77-v-intel-z77-s...(x16)-displayport-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance LP (£40)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-lp-cerulean-blue-pc3-12800-(1600)-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

2GB Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3X (£350)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-gigabyte-gtx-670-win...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-980mhz-boost-1058mhz-cores-13

750W PSU, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M (£85)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-psu-corsair-enthusi...

128GB Crucial RealSSD M4 (£90)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-crucial-realssd-m4...

500GB WD WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue (£55)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-wd-wd5000aakx-cavi...

Sharkoon T9 Case (£45)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sharkoon-t9-value-white-...

23.6" Asus VE247H LED, 1920 x 1080, 2ms (£160)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/236-asus-ve247h-led-1920...
May 24, 2012 12:27:11 AM

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsair-carbide-series-3... £53.16 Inc VAT
Corsair Carbide 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

http://www.dabs.com/products/xfx-750-watt-core-edition-... £74.98
XFX 750 Watt Core Edition Full Wired Power Supply

http://www.dabs.com/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155... £109.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that Asrock board with benchmarks

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board along with a link to the most recent bios update

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Inte... £165.95 inc. VAT
Intel Core i5-3570K S1155 3.4GHz 6MB

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air... £30.95 inc. VAT
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-8gb--2-x-4g... £38.40
Corsair Memory 8GB (2 x 4GB) Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz DIMM 240-pin CL9 Low Profile

http://www.dabs.com/products/sony-24x-dvd-rw-sata-black... £12.99
Sony 24x DVD-RW SATA Black Bare Internal Drive

http://www.dabs.com/products/seagate-500gb-barracuda-sp... £52.99
Seagate 500GB Barracuda SpinPoint SATA 3Gb/s 7200RPM 16MB 3.5"

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Mush... £149.99 inc. VAT
Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive

http://www.dabs.com/products/evga-geforce-gtx-670-915mh... £309.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 915MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5818/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6... <----- GTX 670 review with benchmarks

http://www.dabs.com/products/microsoft-windows-7-home-p... £69.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Monitors+%26+TVs/22+inch... £109.19 inc. VAT Free Delivery
22" ASUS VE228H Widescreen LED Monitor - Black | 1920x1080 Resolution, 5000000:1 Contrast Ratio, 250cd/m² Brightness, 5ms Response Time, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI-D, 1x D-Sub, 3 Year On-Site Warranty

Total: £1,178.57 inc. VAT



http://www.dabs.com/products/sandisk-120gb-ultra-sata-3... £68.98
Sandisk 120GB Ultra SATA 3Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive (Read 280MB/s, Write 270MB/s)

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/10476/kw/... <----- recent firmware update for that Sandisk SSD
May 24, 2012 12:53:51 AM

Arkone said:
Thanks for the info on SSDs. Its will be the first time I've had one so I guess I will go for the 128gb for just the OS and key apps.

Going with the 670 I am thinking it is less likely I will look to SLI. If I was to take SLI out of the equation, would you recommend a drop to a 650W PSU and maybe a cheaper motherboard? I'm wondering if I could actually save £75 by doing both...

Taking onboard the other comments, here is where I am at (I have also decided to switch to scan.co.uk):

Intel Core i5 3570K (£170)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO (£25)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...

Asus P8Z77-V (£135)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z77-v-intel-z77-s...(x16)-displayport-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance LP (£40)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-lp-cerulean-blue-pc3-12800-(1600)-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

2GB Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3X (£350)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-gigabyte-gtx-670-win...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-980mhz-boost-1058mhz-cores-13

750W PSU, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M (£85)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-psu-corsair-enthusi...

128GB Crucial RealSSD M4 (£90)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-crucial-realssd-m4...

500GB WD WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue (£55)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-wd-wd5000aakx-cavi...

Sharkoon T9 Case (£45)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sharkoon-t9-value-white-...

23.6" Asus VE247H LED, 1920 x 1080, 2ms (£160)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/236-asus-ve247h-led-1920...



its safer to go with 750w. 650 will be decent

the asrock extreme4 is also a great option. if not, go with the one you have or a gigabyte z77x-ud3h
May 25, 2012 12:35:58 AM

Thanks for the input guys, I feel I am getting closer to a final build for order this weekend :) 

Spent a little more time looking at dropping SLI and OCing plans with the following changes,

Switching to the Intel 3550,
Dropping the PSU to a 650W
Going for a cheaper MOBO - something like this,

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z77-v-lx-intel-z7...(x16)-dvi-d-hdmi-d-sub-(vga)-

Saves about £80 net, any other suggestions on a good non-OC/non-SLI board?
May 25, 2012 12:42:09 AM

my bare minimum for an asus board is the LK model. or go asrock extreme4
May 25, 2012 9:19:54 AM

Ummm.... why would you want a 3550 over a 3570k?

That's a TERRIBLE decision.
May 25, 2012 4:06:26 PM

Lol fair point, but its not about "wanting" the 3550 over the 3570k, I was just exploring the price difference if I was looking at a non-OC'ing system - i.e. dropping the unlocked CPU and getting a cheaper MOBO...

I do agree with you though, it was late last night when i posted that and I dont think the saving is significant enough.

I am tempted by the Extreme4 board, but I was a little put off by the non standard ATX size (I heard it doesnt quite mount correctly on the case), has it caused you any issues?

Also, I am torn between which gtx 670 manufacturer, the OC'd MSI is about £30 cheaper than the Gigabyte Windforce, does anyone know of any cross 670 benchmarks yet (I cant find any)?

Thanks.
May 25, 2012 5:33:09 PM

Azok said:
Ummm.... why would you want a 3550 over a 3570k?

That's a TERRIBLE decision.

No it's not. IB is fine without an OC.
May 26, 2012 10:48:32 AM

So here is where I am at, ready for order tomorrow! Comes in at just over £1200.

I don't believe I have any issues moving to SLI, or with compatibility, but any final thoughts would be very much appreciated...

Intel Core i5 3570K (£170)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO (£25)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...

Asus P8Z77-V (£135)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z77-v-intel-z77-s...(x16)-displayport-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance LP (£40)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-lp-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

2GB EVGA GTX 670 (£330)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-evga-gtx-670-28nm-pc...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-915mhz-boost-980mhz-cores-1344-2x-dl-dvi-dp-hd

750W PSU, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M (£85)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-psu-corsair-enthusi...

128GB Crucial RealSSD M4 (£90)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-crucial-realssd-m4...

1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 (£70)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-seagate-st1000dm003-...

Antec Three Hundred Two Case (£50)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-three-hundred-two-...

23" Asus PA238Q Pro Art LED IPS Monitor, 1920x1080, 6ms, 250cd/m², 50,000,000:1, Black (£230)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/23-asus-pa238q-pro-art-l...

Thanks.
May 26, 2012 10:06:19 PM

get the P8z77-LK. its 10-20 dollars cheaper with the same capabilities!!!
May 27, 2012 4:13:18 AM

If you haven't ordered yet (just seen your post after finishing my night shift and I'm guessing you arent up this early to place your order :pt1cable:  ) then I reckon you should do one quick check on Dabs for comparable prices, they don't charge much if at all for shipping, and prices are rather good.

I have done this myself and anything left in your quote was cheaper on dabs.com, my suggestions are in bold :) 

Arkone said:



8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance LP (£40)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-lp-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

£1.60 cheaper on Dabs :sleep:  but if you do decide to go with dabs for the shown cheaper products you might aswell save an extra £1.60 whilst you are at it - hell that's halfway to a pint to enjoy in this lovely weather we are having :o 

2GB EVGA GTX 670 (£330)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-evga-gtx-670-28nm-pc...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-915mhz-boost-980mhz-cores-1344-2x-dl-dvi-dp-hd

The EVGA GTX 670 is £309.99 on dabs http://www.dabs.com/products/evga-geforce-gtx-670-915mh...
And the Gigabyte windforce is £319.99 on dabs http://www.dabs.com/products/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-670-9...


750W PSU, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M (£85)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-psu-corsair-enthusi...

Same PSU is £80 on dabs http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-tx750-v2-75...
or for £87.99 you can get the modular version http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-750w-enthusiast-se...


1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 (£70)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-seagate-st1000dm003-...

HDD is the same price on dabs but for £86.98 you can get the 2TB version of it http://www.dabs.com/products/seagate-2tb-barracuda-sata...

23" Asus PA238Q Pro Art LED IPS Monitor, 1920x1080, 6ms, 250cd/m², 50,000,000:1, Black (£230)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/23-asus-pa238q-pro-art-l...

Same display £224.40 on dabs http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-pa238q---lcd-display-...

Thanks.


Total savings = £22.20 with the Gigabyte 670 or £32.20 with the EVGA 670

Both options would allow you to double your HDD space to the 2TB Barracuda, and going with the EVGA card you could get the modular version of the PSU as well as the 2TB HDD :) 
May 27, 2012 9:56:12 AM

Haha not a chance I was going to be up that early :)  so nothing ordered yet...

Thanks for the heads up though, some fairly significant price differences!
May 27, 2012 12:26:41 PM

Arkone said:
Haha not a chance I was going to be up that early :)  so nothing ordered yet...

Thanks for the heads up though, some fairly significant price differences!


You never know, you might just have been that excited :lol: 

And you're welcome, it pays off to shop around :) 
May 28, 2012 8:56:45 AM

Finally put the build together, mobo size wasn't a problem. Just the last screws won't screw in. Nothing major.
May 28, 2012 9:18:17 AM

Arkone said:
Haha not a chance I was going to be up that early :)  so nothing ordered yet...

Thanks for the heads up though, some fairly significant price differences!


If you haven't ordered yet Arkone then definitely go with dabs they are running a summer promotion that runs until the 1st June whereby when you spend over £599 you can get £40 off (using the code SUNNY40) http://www.dabs.com/articles/landingpages/landing-pages/special-offer-coupons-10385.html?ArticleID=10385

I am also looking to build a new rig and will hopefully buying components this week (from Dabs)!

June 19, 2012 5:22:49 PM

Ok, so got this system first built a couple weeks ago, and although I had to take it apart again to install the 212 (which only arrived this weekend) its now all set up running fast and cool :) 

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who input to the build - there were quite a few changes from my very original plan, but all for the better!

-Arkone
!