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  1. #1

    Seeking advice on build

    So this is my first build which has a budget of $800-900, but I can go slightly over $900 with your advice.
    I already have the peripherals (mouse, monitor, keyboard, etc) and already have Windows 7 64bit, plus old hard drive I will use to slave. I normally only play Blizzard games, but also try out other demanding games @ 1920 X1080.
    Fun fact: My wal-mart computer of ten years with minor upgrades finally gave out. Instead of replacing the power supply I think it's time to just junk the computer and get a new one. So I want something that can not only handle the lowest settings in the game like I'm use to but can also conquer the highest settings or at least try to! I will be purchasing this build in less than a week and hopefully incorporate some ideas...Please help this cheapskate!

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($303.13 @ Amazon)
    Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($46.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $955.04
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 11:41 EST-0500)

    Is this a solid build or should I get something else instead? Thanks again!
    Last edited by Lucidprodigy; 2013-03-03 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Two things catch my attention.

    1) The RAM you selected has big heatsinks. Those will interfere with the cooler. Find some ram without giant frilly things on em. These ought to work fine, and cheaper

    2) The PSU. No. *newspaper* No. Raidmax is a horrible brand. Your dead PSU from your wal-mart computer would be a better choice. Raidmax are better suited if you like fireworks. An XFX 550w ought to do good, and will cover if you go dual GPU.
    Gaming: Dual Intel Pentium III Coppermine @ 1400mhz + Blue Orb | Asus CUV266-D | GeForce 2 Ti + ZF700-Cu | 1024mb Crucial PC-133 | Whistler Build 2267
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  3. #3
    Epic! Idrinkwhiterussians's Avatar
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    I took your build, tweaked it around a bit to get a storage drive in also (as you didn't have one in there) but keeping everything at the same level of what you had.

    The PSU and RAM were changed out, as Chazus had already pointed out should be done.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($223.79 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Adorama)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($273.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: NZXT HALE82-N 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $930.70
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-27 18:28 EST-0500)


    Edit: If you plan on going without a storage drive to start, the price will obviously be ~$60 less than what is listed here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    anyone want doughnuts? i hear there is a great shop in Vancouver

  4. #4
    I'm picking different RAM and PSU for sure, but I have a few questions.
    RAM- The current price is longer available for the Corsair 2x4gb unless I paid $50, which is fine, but did you guys pick it because of the price per gig and it's Corsair? There are other brands right now under $50 like Crucial or G.Skill. Would those be recommended for my build?
    CPU Cooler- I've been looking at the reviews about Xigmatek Gaia, some good and a few bad. Is the price and performance accurate with a step below Cooler Master 212 Evo or will the Gaia be up for the challenge with a wonderful price?
    Thank you Chazus and Idrinkwhiterussians for the help and advice! @ Idrinkwhiterussians - I have an HDD that I will use to slave for the SSD. I liked the case you linked, although I don't even like the Rosewell case I will get, but for now it has 3 fans included out of the box.

  5. #5
    Kingston and Geil are both excellent makers of RAM. Kingston is a very reputable company in the UK and I've used their RAM for years no issues. I've recently bought the 2x4GB 1600Mhz blue versions. The Kingston Grey modules should come with low heatsinks.

  6. #6
    Epic! Idrinkwhiterussians's Avatar
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    I simply put that RAM in for the fact that it is (was) cheap and doesn't have the tacky heatsinks. (The heatsinks generally interfere with the installation of air coolers, and therefore I would not recommend them, unless you are going for a water block- though that is out of your price range)

    The Gaia and 212 are relatively similar in cooling. Either is fine for mild overclocks.

    As far as case, it is a preferential thing. I put the CM in there because of price, and trying to fit HDD in there. (though, it seems the CM case has gone up $10)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    anyone want doughnuts? i hear there is a great shop in Vancouver

  7. #7
    Sweet!! Thanks for the help! I will order the parts, drink whiterussians in my Drudgery with my fist raised in anger for Chazus hitting me with a newspaper while I cruise on my new machine! See what i did there!?
    Last edited by Lucidprodigy; 2013-02-28 at 09:26 PM.

  8. #8
    I updated my pcpartpicker list above. In a few more days I will order them. Just have one question about the GPU I picked out. I have done some looking around at benchmarks, reviews, etc about MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card, which is pretty much the basis of my build. Is this a graphics card I should stick to for the price? Unless I can find a fairly cheap 670, I can't see me purchasing that one. Is there another card that I'm unaware of that I should be looking at? Maybe a 7950 with boost? To me that seems like a downgrade to 660 TI PE.
    Like I originally wrote above, I am only really going to play Blizzard games and try out other non-blizzard games sometimes @ 1080p on highest settings or close to with one monitor.
    Also, a card with SLI capabilities to upgrade down the road, and eventually overclock (which I never have done before but would like to) although I read the 660 TI PE is already overclocked.
    Last edited by Lucidprodigy; 2013-03-03 at 06:27 PM.

  9. #9
    If you want to stick with Nvidia, the card that Idrinkwhiterussians has linked will be fine for your needs at that price point. If you opt for a Zotac AMP/Gigabyte, which will increase cost slightly, you can overclock those cards and reach GTX 670 stock levels in some games where you're not using AA. As soon as you crank up AA though the GTX 670 is normally faster due to it's higher memory bandwidth and higher memory bus.

  10. #10
    GTX660Ti is probably going to be similar to the 7870 GHz editions, with minor to moderate limitations due to base bus-size (192 tot he 7870 GHz edition's typical 256 or 384-bit bus sizes.

    Having said that, there's this 3GB 7950 at $309.99 before rebate, so if you can stretch to that, then that should be the winner over the 660Ti. The only issue I'd have is whether it would fit (dimensions are around 11"*5"*2", so check the case beforehand).

    EDIT: the GTX 670s without rebates start at ~$350, so if you can stretch for that, then that or my linked 7950 should be suitable.
    Last edited by tenangrychickens; 2013-03-03 at 06:51 PM.

  11. #11
    I'm still seeing MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card beating any 7950 cards by a margin on several benchmarks. For example: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/M...dition/23.html
    Not sure if it's because the log was taken in August 2012 and might have been some drive updates not filed because of that.
    Perhaps this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...g,3283-13.html is more up to date? Then I question if it is using the Power Edition or not.
    Sorry if this all sounds terrible of me to say. I just want a solid graphics card for the money, and yes I can go a tad bit higher because I have a few items in my pcpickerlist that I can downgrade to get the same result. The GPU, CPU, MoBo are the major deciding factors.
    Last edited by Lucidprodigy; 2013-03-03 at 07:23 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidprodigy View Post
    I'm still seeing MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card beating any 7950 cards by a margin on several benchmarks. For example: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/M...dition/23.html
    Not sure if it's because the log was taken in August 2012 and might have been some drive updates not filed because of that.
    Perhaps this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...g,3283-13.html is more up to date? Then I question if it is using the Power Edition or not.
    Sorry if this all sounds terrible of me to say. I just want a solid graphics card for the money, and yes I can go a tad bit higher because I have a few items in my pcpickerlist that I can downgrade to get the same result. The GPU, CPU, MoBo are the major deciding factors.
    Those benchmarks are a little out of date. Even so they should only be used as a reference. If you are getting an overclocked card chances are your card will perform better than those values anyway. The GTX 660TI is a fine choice for it's price point but in certain games the 7950 will have an advantage especially if you want to crank up your AA settings given the 7950's higher memory bus/bandwidth. Also what tenangry chickens linked was the boost version of the 7950, which generally perform better than stock 7950s. With it's free games it's certainly worth considering over the GTX 660TI.

    Neither cards will hold you back in ANY Blizzard titles.

  13. #13
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    I find it -extremely- hard to believe that the 660ti would be on part, or better than the 7970, especially when the 660ti has traditionally proven to be a poor choice for it's price.

    That original benchmark putting it up with the 7970 is likely due to the fact that WoW favors nVidia cards. And while that may be relevant, it isn't the case with other games.

    The 7870 Ghz, 7870 XT, or 7950 would all be better, cheaper choices than the 660ti, unless you truely intend to only ever play WoW for the lifespan of the system.

    ---------- Post added 2013-03-03 at 11:44 AM ----------

    Neither cards will hold you back in ANY Blizzard titles.
    Well, yeah, there's also that, which sort of makes the discussion moot beyond price.

    I think I'd just rather get a 7870 XT for $240, which will perform better, than a 660ti for $300.
    Gaming: Dual Intel Pentium III Coppermine @ 1400mhz + Blue Orb | Asus CUV266-D | GeForce 2 Ti + ZF700-Cu | 1024mb Crucial PC-133 | Whistler Build 2267
    Media: Dual Intel Drake Xeon @ 600mhz | Intel Marlinspike MS440GX | Matrox G440 | 1024mb Crucial PC-133 @ 166mhz | Windows 2000 Pro

    IT'S ALWAYS BEEN WANKERSHIM | Did you mean: Fhqwhgads
    "Three days on a tree. Hardly enough time for a prelude. When it came to visiting agony, the Romans were hobbyists." -Mab

  14. #14
    Okay thanks I will look over the GPU's suggested. Looks like the consensus all around is I should look else where instead of getting the Power Edition 660ti. I would love to get the 7950 which doesn't have SLI support..but has crossfire so another choice to be made by current selection on pcpartpicker list. I will also keep looking around for a 670 GPU since I'm taking the advice of WoW favors to Nvidia cards.
    I do truly play only blizzard games and have since they created starcraft, diablo, warcraft, etc. Until WoW becomes max level cap and no longer adds content I will play!
    Thanks again everyone for help/advice
    Last edited by Lucidprodigy; 2013-03-03 at 08:54 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidprodigy View Post
    Okay thanks I will look over the GPU's suggested. Looks like the consensus all around is I should look else where instead of getting the Power Edition 660ti. I would love to get the 7950 which doesn't have SLI support..but has crossfire so another choice to be made by current selection on pcpartpicker list.
    What needs to be changed? There shouldn't be any compatibility issues just by switching to an AMD card.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidprodigy View Post
    I will also keep looking around for a 670 GPU since I'm taking the advice of WoW favors to Nvidia cards.
    When talking about high-end cards like this, it really doesn't matter. Wow isn't a particularly demanding game graphically, and while there may well be a difference, it won't be a noticeable one. Hell, my 7850 runs it at ~60 fps in pretty much all situations @ ultra 1920x1080, and the 7950 and especially the 670 are a big step up from what I have.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karragon View Post
    I'd like WoW to be a single player game

  16. #16
    @ chazus, I had a typo! It was suppose to be 7850.
    @ blargh312, the difference would be price and moving things around to get everything around my price range.
    I also play Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 which you are right the cards mentioned would all be great on those games too.

    I'm mainly wanting to get the best GPU for the dollar based on my price range and later to up the experience with another GPU is all

  17. #17
    Don't go CF later. You're much better off buying a 7970 now and not go CF. If you want more problems than fun, sure, crossfire or SLI is the way to go, I would never buy a cheap card to add on another later. Uh-uh.

  18. #18
    Buying the parts today. I'm trying to squeeze in a 670 GPU but the only ones around my price range might be lower end.
    PNY - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pny-vid...d-vcggtx670xpb
    Zotac - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zotac-v...ard-zt6030110p
    Galaxy - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/galaxy-...d-67nph6dv6kxz
    There are actually 2 other Galaxy's available under that amount but I chose (in my opinion) the best of the three.
    Mind you I still can get a Msi 660ti Power Edition.

  19. #19
    Epic! Idrinkwhiterussians's Avatar
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    There is also the Gigabyte GTX 670 with WF3 cooler that is $369 after MIR. (If you can fudge the $20 before MIR that is)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $369.99
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-04 12:15 EST-0500)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    anyone want doughnuts? i hear there is a great shop in Vancouver

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Idrinkwhiterussians View Post
    There is also the Gigabyte GTX 670 with WF3 cooler that is $369 after MIR. (If you can fudge the $20 before MIR that is)
    If you only play Blizzard games, GPU isn't all that important. You can get away with a 660 and have no performance penalty.

    By the way, the RAM recommended by chazus is Cas 11 instead of the standard Cas 9 that can be had for roughly $5 more. Don't worry too much about the tall heatsink issue as the Hyper 212 EVO only overhangs the first RAM slot (of 4).

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