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#1 Feb 02 2013 at 7:22 PM Rating: Good
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Hey Everyone, Im in the market for a new PC. Well for the wife and me. My "budget" is around 800 as I have to keep money off to the side for monitor etc as shes been using a laptop for the last 3 years. I'll tell you what she has ATM, and what I was looking for, and what she uses it for.

Currently she is using:
Acer Aspire 5679G
15.4 inch Laptop
1366x768 resolution Display
Intel Dualcore 2.4Ghz
Geforce 240M
4 gigs of RAm
300? or 350 gig 7400 WD Black HDD/750gig External

Its about 4 ish years old. Paid like 700 for it, and the factory messed up, was supposed to come with a lower videocard but had the 240M in it.
She's starting to see signs of the videocard dying, Random blue screens, driver failure on the card. I bought myself one too and its in the closet because of the videocard dying, but mine had the 130M card instead.

Her main uses: Photoshop and I mean a lot of it I bought here a Wacom "to lazy to look up probably Bamboo or something" pad and she uses it about every day. She's really really good on a non-professional, probably could go professional if she set her mind to it way. She plays WoW, and used to play FFXI, has tried other games GW2, RIFT, and she may be interested in "that shooty game" Planetside 2(She watches me play sometimes)/ FF14 ARR. Otherwise web browsing and basic such.

What I was looking at for her was:
-Intel i5 around 3.2~3.4Ghz ~ This and the video card are outside my normal parts range usually I stick to AMD but game wise they just dont hold up now days.

-Radeon HD 7850 1 GB ~ again outside my comfort zone, usually always Nvidia here, but I'm told the Radeons have more "bang for the buck"

16 gigs of Corsair RAM 4x4 seemed the cheapest route.

Storage: 500~1tb Disk HDD and was considering 120 ish SSD for main. MAY not have a SSD just for headaches sake of her saving everything to the wrong drive and filling up the SSD on accident.

Decent Motherboard

PSU (600~650w)

Decent Case.

My Current System is:
AMD Phenom X4 3.4Ghz (OC 4.0 Ghz on aftermarket fan)
Geforce 460
8 Gigs RAM (Brand escapes me atm)
128 gig Kingston HyperX SSD, 500 Gig WD Storage
Decent low/Midrange Motherboard(Brand escapes me atm)
650w Modular PSU
Thermaltake Case

So my question to you. Where should I cut corners if any? Should I wait a few months for any exciting awesome new tech being phased in? (I dont keep up to much with the new hardware). Seen any good deals on hardware, or heard of any good deals up and coming? What would be your plan of action when building this PC, would you wait for deals or just say F it and buy everything at once? Intel or AMD? Nvidia or Radeon?

Not new to building PCs but I want to build something thats current(ish) wont choke on new ish games, and give her a good user experience. (and won't cause me headache down the line)
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#2 Feb 03 2013 at 12:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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Is the budget 800 per machine? or 800 total for a laptop and workstation upgrades? Or are you thinking a new workstation and upgrades to the existing workstation?

budgetwise, buying a new laptop with adequate specifications and upgradeing that workstation you listed aren't happining. Building a new one and upgrading the existing one is theoretically doable, but the new build is going to eat most of the budget. Technologywise, now is a good time to upgrade. Anything that was close to ready got released for christmas, so the new video cards and processors likely won't be out in general until the June-July timeframe.

I tend to prefer Intel processors over the AMD line, and i agree that the I-5 socket 1155 processors are probably the way to go. Video card, I hate ATI Radeon drivers. Hardwarewise I have no complaints on the cards themselves, and since AMD bought ATI, they actually work better with AMD processors. I always stick with nvidia though. No problems there,

I'm going to go ahead and assume that you are looking to build her a new PC rather than buy a laptop. With that in mind, Photoshop wants the following: Ram, More Ram, as many processor cores as you can throw at it, as much video ram (but not necessarily horsepower) as you can throw at it, and a secondary drive to use as a "scratch" drive to speed up rendering and any processes. With that in mind, this is what I would put together as a start:

Case: Cooler master Cm690 II - Currently on sale for $69 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
Notes: Big, roomy, toolless, no issues with nosie or ventallation

Motherboard: At a minimum an Asus P8B75-M socket 1155 motherboard. $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131836
notes: only supports one video card, but has 4 ram slots, sata 6 GB/ sec and USB 3.0 More money spent here on an upgraded board with better controllers though wouldn't be a bad investment. The next revision up in terms of components and features start at about $130

Processor: Intel I5 3350P socket 1155 processor $179
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782
Notes: Quad core, 3.1ish GHz, low wattage so low heat output. An I7 upgrade over this one would give you the hyperthreading cores for 8 logical cores total, but the I7's start at $289 for the I7 3770

Ram: 16GB Corsair (2x8GB) $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233367
Notes: ram is still dirt cheap at the moment. get one set of thsoe to bring her to 16Gb, and a dd a second to fill in the other two ram slots as budget allows. $65 price is after the coupon code EMCXVXW79 which ends on the 7th of February.

PSU: Antec 620W PSU $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031

$392 without the drives or the video card (or the OS) at this point

OS Drive: Samsung 840 250 GB SSD $179
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147189

Data drive: 2x Western digital 500GB in raid 1 mirror $50 each, $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

Which puts you at $671 without the video card or OS. I would reccommend at that point pulling your 460 GTX, installign that in her new computer and using the remaining $130 to get one of these:

EVGA 650GTX 2GB $129 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130830
Notes: Fast, lots of ram, Does NOT support SLI mode though.

I realize that doesn't include the $130 per license Windows 7 OS. i suppose you could drop the data drives or go with a smaller / non SSD, but the 840's are completely, unequivically worth it. they are damned speedy! also having dual 500GB data drives with redundancy gives her room to play with larger photoshop file sizes, but also ensures that a single drive failure won't lose all your data. I don't build anything these days without a redundant drive array in it somewhere. Drives are too inexpensive not to.

The video card would be a major upgrade for your computer. I'd also look at throwing some ram at it at some point. High end AMD CPU and board upgrade would run you $320-ish. You're basically equivelent to a high end I5 at the moment. Case and PSU are fine for the duration. Might want a bigger PSU if you ever decide to go SLI or Crossfire multiple video cards. No issues with your SSD, though you probably are going to want a bigger one eventually given how much room windows 7 takes. it sounds like you already know about the space issue though. I find that my 256 GB samsung 840Pro SSD is fine for my space needs, even with the multitude of games and utilities I have on here. If you have another $800 to throw at your computer though, I'd probably go with the video card (or maybe a higher end one) and the ram. after that it becomes a toss up between the CPU / motherboard or the bigger SSD. the bigger SSD isn't going to give you a huge performance boost over your existing one, but it would allow for growth for the next 3 years or so at least. Motherboard and processor I would almost leave alone unless you wanted to go with something really super high end because otherwise you would be looking at maybe a 10-15% improvement over what you already have.
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#3 Feb 03 2013 at 1:33 AM Rating: Good
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Kaolian you the man. But yeah this is what I was wanting to see. Sorry If i was confusing, She has a laptop now, Im looking to get her a PC since Price = more bang for the buck. I mean I found decent "midrange" gaming laptops for around the 800 mark but they sacrifice CPU/RAM, and have a lower res screen.

As for my PC wasnt looking to Up it to much but Ill have to Look into it I have a Evga Geforce GTX 460 SE (Pre OC'ed) they only game I really run into frame issues is Planetside 2 (GPU bottleneck when no fighting low people around, CPU bottleneck when In fights) but I managed 20-30 Fps in medium fights which I find tolerable. But A) the developers have admitted they need to clean up the engine optimazation, and B) the game runs WAY better on Intel, people with the Same setups on Intel (460 GTX , 8 gig ram) are reporting 40-50 In medium and 25-35 in large. Otherwise I can run most games at Ultra or Close enough.

I was looking at I5-3570 Ivy Bridge, 15 bucks off atm puts it 20 bucks more then the 3350P.

As for the Motherboard was considering ASRock H77 Pro from my meager internet sleuthing it seems the H77 NB is really good. Maybe someone can chime in on this, I'm not the greatest at knowing about North Bridges.

Now the RAM, I know in the past 2 Bigger sticks were better than 4 Smaller ones, but from looking around, at todays speeds, I've seen a lot opinions to go with 4x4 vs 2x8 Since the speed difference isnt large enough to notice, and it has the benefit if one ram stick goes bad you lose less (25%) vs. 50% lose of 2x8 gigs (again if RAM goes bad)

Again back to my Rig. I think my next investment (Other than a video card possibly) is Water cooling. The kits have come down in price a lot and I have a AMD Phenom X4 965 BE, its OC'ed on aftermarket air cooling atm and just doing my own tests I could probably get it up to 4.2 or higher and still be stable on air(At time of writing this post my PC OC'ed to 4.0 is 30c idle and playing PS2 earlier maxed at 41c which is way below the 55c threshhold) , on water I should, from various sites be able to get 4.5ghz OC stable and with good temps. Now I've never down water cooling before but Im sure I can handle it, and that will save me from having to get a new Mobo/CPU for a while.

As for the Windows 7 I already have a copy I bought one with a home license a while back for my PC, and It says I can install on 3 PCs. I've only used one, her laptop came with Windows 7 installed.

Now one of the reasons I posted here, as I noticed you linked all Newegg, is would it be in my best interest to shop around at Tiger direct and other such sites or stick to Newegg like I have for about 8 years now?



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#4 Feb 03 2013 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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faster processor is always better. and for only $15 more, no reason not to go with a faster one.

I only buy Asus motherboards. Asrock is kind of a no name company. Might be fine, might not. I don't have any experiance with them one way or the other. Featurewise it looks comparable.

Ram, 4 smaller sticks speedwise would be slightly better than just 2 bigger ones. the reason I suggest the two bigger ones instead is because if you add two more of them a month later, photoshop will useevery bit of ram you can throw at it. the speed loss in the short term would be overruled by the cost savings of adding more ram later. if you don't intend to do that then yeah, go with 4 4GB sticks. Ram is still dirt cheap and easy to source though,

Water cooling is a very god investment if you are overclocking. If you are planning to take your voltages that hight though keep in mind it probably isn't the CPU that is going to cook first. it's going to be your motherboard chipset or your ram. ram water blocks and motherboard water blocks do exist, but they are expensive and kind of a pain to install. BUt also effective. I ru mainly koolance stuff in my boxes. Swiftech is still excellent too. If you do go into water cooling, be sure to get as many koolance quick disconnect **** as possible for your lines. Makes swapping out components later on much, much, much easier. Also when it comes to water blocks specifically, consider used equipment. the "good" water blocks don't readily fail, and are generallt easily rebuilt. Picking up a Koolance 360 CPU block for example used would save you $70 over the retail new in box $370. Same thign for **** and reservoirs. Pumps and controllers you definitly want to go new, and you definitly want a controller rather than just running the pump flat out. Also keep in mind that video water blocks generally start beign effective only for the larger, more popular upper end GTX series or ATI series cards. The generic "one size fits all" or hybrid VGA coolers aren't worth their weight in scrap paper.

I tend to use newegg alot. tigerdircet or even CDW occasionally have better prices on individual components, so it is certanly worth taking a look. I find the conveniance of having all my parts on one invoice in case of RMA and shipped generally in one box tends to offset the $5-$10 I would get ordering elsewhere for me.
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#5 Feb 03 2013 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

an example coolance water cooling setup in a Cooler master ATCS 840 case. Triple 120MM radiator on the top, an additional single 120 at the rear (500 watts potential cooling per fan chunk +/- a bit, so around 1800 watts of cooling potential from the radiators alone.) from the rad to the CPU water block (koolance CPU 370) down to a pair of GTX 580 3GB blocks (also koolance) and over to a very large reservoir (mainly because I had the space) which gives me effectivly another 600-700 watts heat dissipation. From there, it goes to The Koolance RP1250 fan and pump controll unit. which lets me auto fail the system if the coolant exceeds temperature or flow threshholds. THere is also a leak sensor for the system in there. I ended up not putting in a chipset water block at the time I was building, mainly because I couldn't find one. they are rare, and only available for a short period of time. SInce I got the insane deal on the quick disconnects I did, adding one later will be a matter of simply running new tubes. I won't even need to drain the system

I also didn't add any ram heat syncs. THey are really a pain in the **** to put in and run. I may add them later, but with ram slots on either side of the proccessor you end up with some really tight tubing bend radius, or wierd looking strain relief extra long loops with angle ****

Note the springs that wrap all the tubes. Those are required to keep the tubing collapsing in the curves. many people don't run them on their first water cooling build, and they are really cheap enough that you can't aford not to run them. without them your maxiimum bend radius is about 6 inches. with them, you can easuily get 2 or 3 inches depending on tubing size.

I went with very large 1/2" tubing, mainly because of the quick disconnect **** I ended up with. Larger is better, but water doesn't compress, so the narrowest point in your system (which will be the **** themselves) is basically going to dictate your maximum flow rate. 3/8" line is probably more than adequate. 1/2" adds a bit of expense normally because the **** are bigger, but it looks cool too.

If possible you want a fill port at the very top of your sytem, and a drain port near the bottom. IN my case there wasn't a particularily good place to put the fill port, so I lay the case on its side and dismount the reservoir and tilt it up so it is higher than everything else. You'll also want to get a 4 pin Molex external power supply to use as a pump prime (I use one of the ones that comes with those external HDD SATA / IDE to USB cables) so you can get your ssytem filled and eliminate any of the air locks in the line before you ever actually power it on. also, if you end up having a nleak, finding out about it with the system in the off state except for the pump is less disasterous than finding out about it with voltage on the motherboard.

I went with the koolance RP1250 http://koolance.com/rp-1250-reservoir-and-pump as my pump and controll unit because I wanted a clean looking standalone unit with an easy to service pump. THere are also other individual controll ionterfaces that work quite well. Koolance makes most of them. Swiftech makes very good pumps, but they really don't have a decent controller. http://koolance.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=69 There are others on the market too. THe interface card koolance makes though is nice because it lets you graph and monitor things inside the computer via software.Or, theoretically by a Second computer if you want to adjust cooling and monitor levels from that computer while adjusting the OC voltages on the other one.

Anyways, there you go, more information than you ever wanted to know about water cooling!
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#6 Feb 03 2013 at 4:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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BeanX wrote:
-Radeon HD 7850 1 GB ~ again outside my comfort zone, usually always Nvidia here, but I'm told the Radeons have more "bang for the buck"

This is the common wisdom and I've been very happy with my Radeon purchase (a 3GB 7950) and found it largely trouble free. It was also a hundred bucks less than a comparative GTX 670. This is with an Intel CPU (i7-860 oc'd to 3.8GHz). Naturally, the lower you go down the ladder, the smaller the dollar range differences will be. Most of the Tom's Hardware "best value" recommendations are AMD cards for what it's worth.

Speaking of overclocking processors, consider dropping the extra $15 for the "k" version of whatever i5 you're thinking of, assuming it's available.

Also, AMD is running another "Never Settle" promotion and the 7850 should come with Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider: No That Wasn't Supposed To Imply Rape. Not that you should buy a card solely for the games but rather, if you decide to go with an AMD card, make sure you're getting your goodies.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2013 4:08pm by Jophiel
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#7 Feb 03 2013 at 4:54 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, Ill keep that in mind.

So I'm doing some research on the graphics cards and finding that the GTX 460 SE is slightly more powerful then the 650. The 460 has a slower clock but faster Memory bandwidth and Pixel rate, and a little more power consumption. While the 650 would have better Texel rate (AA rate) and a slightly lower power consumption.

Doing more searching is finding that yeah the 460SE even if its slightly worse then a 460 itself is still faster then a 650 Ti which comes in slightly better then a 450/550 which the 460 is much better then in tests. (According to the interwebs). So I'll consider it or see if I can scrape the extra 40 for a 7850 or 7870 (to much). Partly becuase at the moment seems like the safest bet,and i can get out of my comfort zone/get experience working with ATI's incase I need to fix a pc with them.

The Free games is a plus, I was looking forward to Bioshock already, and Tomb Raider looked interesting. As for deciding which machine to put it in Ill cross that bridge later.
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#8 Feb 03 2013 at 5:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Regarding ATi video cards and why I dislike their drivers, there are 2 reasons. The first, is their multi monitor support tends to behave oddly. Especially on laptops. After a driver update, it may decide to move the monitor ports, or have one cease to exist, and it sometimes involves a registry tweak to bring it back. The second reason is that major driver revisions, or going from an Nvidia card in the system to an ATI one, tend to encounter major issues. If you aren't doing either of those things, the driver issues you will see will be fairly minor. The ATI cards don't have the CUDA / FERMI engine for accelerating 2d rendering apps (video endoding in adobe premiere pro, etc) or the embedded PhysX physics rendering processor, so depending on what you do, if you had the cards side by side you might notice a difference. If you don't, you probably aren't going to.
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#9 Feb 03 2013 at 5:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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BeanX wrote:
Yeah, Ill keep that in mind.

So I'm doing some research on the graphics cards and finding that the GTX 460 SE is slightly more powerful then the 650. The 460 has a slower clock but faster Memory bandwidth and Pixel rate, and a little more power consumption. While the 650 would have better Texel rate (AA rate) and a slightly lower power consumption.

Doing more searching is finding that yeah the 460SE even if its slightly worse then a 460 itself is still faster then a 650 Ti which comes in slightly better then a 450/550 which the 460 is much better then in tests. (According to the interwebs). So I'll consider it or see if I can scrape the extra 40 for a 7850 or 7870 (to much). Partly becuase at the moment seems like the safest bet,and i can get out of my comfort zone/get experience working with ATI's incase I need to fix a pc with them.

The Free games is a plus, I was looking forward to Bioshock already, and Tomb Raider looked interesting. As for deciding which machine to put it in Ill cross that bridge later.


I disagree entirely about the 460 GTX SE being more powerful than the 650 in any respect. For example, take a look at the details tabs of both of these cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130830
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130591

The 460's were underpowered to begin with. they were actually slower than the 260's, but the 560 and the 650 or 660 are both equipped with faster MHz (400Mhz on average) processors, with bigger throughput pipes, faster GDDR5 memory (1600 Mhz faster on average), more CUDA cores (120 additional process cores usually) and most importantly more memory on the 2GB version. Not to mention the DirectX 11 instruction set which becomes important if your game supports directX 11. Plus the 5 and 6xx series cards supported PCI express 16x 3.0 and the hugely increased bandwidth that made available between the card and the motherboard. If we are talking multiple 460 SE's in SLI vs a single 650, then sure, the argument is there. Aside from that, no.

That being said, get whichever card makes you happy. And the 7850 probably is faster than the 650 GTX.
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#10 Feb 03 2013 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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In other words if I put the new card in my system I should expect headaches. Way to be the bearer of bad news! Then your 2nd statement seals the deal I'm going to have headaches, as If I went with lets say this (I decided to check out Tiger Direct for deals) with her using it more for Adobe Photoshop that the Nvidia would be a better option while the ATI would be a better card for my system that does mostly gaming. /sigh ( She doesn't use Premiere thats where I dabble making terrible AMVs, or try too as I've only ever completed one and by completed made it to a state where it was semi non-retarded Heres a link if you want to laugh at me anyway(I gave up on lipsyncing it at around the 1:20 mark lol), I have a 2nd unfinished video that all my clips had issues and I gave up, on the same channel)

Edited in:
Yeah I know on paper it does look better. I'm not saying you're wrong either but I'll post my links.
http://www.hwcompare.com/13496/geforce-gtx-460-se-vs-geforce-gtx-650/
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_650_msi_power_edition_review,15.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-650-ti-benchmark-gk106,3318-19.html




Edited, Feb 3rd 2013 5:36pm by BeanX
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#11 Feb 03 2013 at 6:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, but its GDDR3 ram vs GDDR5 ram. A pentium IV 3.2 Ghz chip might theoretically have a faster clock than a Core i7 2.8 Ghz, but that doesn't mean its going to run faster. If we were talking Gddr5 vs Gddr5 with that bus comparison, then yeah, though even then, i think their math is off. If nothign else real world benchmarks don't tend to show the 460 as faster. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the 650 is a killer card, you get a 3GB 580 in there and it will run circles around it, but its pretty good for a $120 card.
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#12 Feb 03 2013 at 6:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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I went from an Nvidia card to a Radeon without any complications. Just uninstalled the Nvidia drivers/console and had the Radeon stuff already downloaded and ready to install once the new card was in.

Your mileage may vary.

PhysX is a matter of personal choice. Conventional wisdom seems to be that most games don't utilize it with any success; the primary exception being the Batman games where PhysX makes his cape hella cooler than without it. I wouldn't base a card choice off PhysX but then I never really got into the Batman games either Smiley: laugh

FYI that same card is available at the same price point from Newegg except Newegg has the game bundle showing with it. Also, in both those cases the $159 is after rebate which will be in the form of an American Express gift card. Just so you know. I'm always hesitant to count rebates against my purchase price for just that reason -- you can always use it to buy groceries or pay for dinner but it's a lot harder to pay the mortgage with it.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2013 7:10pm by Jophiel
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#13 Feb 03 2013 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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Also, in my experience, Nvidia cards have had more success running various things in the field of emulation. Probably cause of OpenGL.
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#15 Feb 08 2013 at 8:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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Newegg has a 2GB 7850 on sale for $179 if you're still looking.
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#16 Feb 09 2013 at 6:43 PM Rating: Good
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Well quickie update. The wife is against building a full new pc and is willing to deal with her laptop til it blows up, I guess. Which is weird she doesn't play many games but I had her try out TERA:Rising, which she immediately loves, but plays at like 15 FPS and I can't even stand watching her play, sigh.

But on the opposite hand I'm trying to convince her to let me "upgrade" my Pc so when/if her laptop blows up were don't have to outright build a full PC, but just grabs the extra's to give her something decent.

So here's what I personally am looking at:

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (3.80GHz Max Turbo), Unlocked, Retail - $219 (15 instant savings)

Its a decent processor, took Jophs advice and went for the K varient since it's OC-able to get a few more bangs for my buck.

So time for a fight, as I had typed out a long post with one setup then decided to check and another setup came to mind.

So My choices Im looking at are:

XFX Radeon HD 7850 Core Edition 2GB 179.99(after $20 mail in Rebate, This also gets me Bioshock Infinite and the new Tomb Raider games) and BIOSTAR TZ77B Intel 7 Series Mobo - $99
Total 279.98

OR

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB 189.99 (After $30 Mail in rebate, No games) and ECS P67H2-A2 Black Deluxe Mobo - 74.99(after $10 Mail in rebate, $20 instant)
Total 264.98

Now here's the dilemma: Im getting these pieces with the intention of having some upgrade room, ala they both support SLI or Crossfire. and both support Intel i3/5/7. The issues come in at the north bridges, which for the last few days I've been checking out.

The Z77 is the new northbridge that supports Ivy Bridge based CPUs and PCIex16 3.0 (which is 2 times as fast as PCIex16 2.0) and can run SLI in with PCIe 3.0 on both. Allows OC, On Chipset video, and a few other tweaks. But doesn't have PCI support for older PCI cards.

The P67 has native Sandy Bridge support with tacked on Ivy bridge support. It can run PCIe x16 3.0 on one card only but if SLIed it makes both cards run at PCIe x16 2.0. Doesnt have onchipset video support (doesnt matter) but supports alot of the same overall.

Heres a small breakdown of the 2 bridges differences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155

Now the first Mobo is a basic Z77, has decent specs overall nothing special and is cheaper, but it doesnt support SLI (For a Nvidia) only Crossfire X for AMD Radeons.

The 2nd P67 Mobo is honestly overkill, has 4 USB 3.0(2 on back, 2 on front plate), 2 eSata on the back , 8 USB 2.0, On back CMOS clear if I mess up an OC, and 2 Ethernet ports, and an optical audio out if I ever decide to go all audiophile on my surround sound system and it supports SLI and Crossfire (At PCIe 2.0 with 2 cards in)

I really wish I could format a table here lol. So to break it down:

Radeon/Z77 mobo: A tad slower then a 660, but comes with 2 games. Mobo is made for Ivy Bridge with SLI and PCIe x16 3.0 in mind.

Geforce/P67 mobo: Faster video card, Mobo is older chipset and doesnt support SLI at PCIe 3.0 Speeds. Ivy Bridge support tacked on, but Mobo comes with all the bells and whistles you could think of.

BTW the cheapest Z77 mobo that supported IVY bridge and SLI Dual PCIe x16 3.0 was about 40~50 bucks more. That's why I'm in this conundrum.

Radeon + Z77 = Upgradability, Slower video card, Middling price, normal Mobo features. 2 free 60 dollar games.
Geforce + Z77 = Upgradability, Faster Video card, Higher price, less Mobo Features. No Games.
Geforce + P67 = Limited Upgradability, Faster Video card, lowest price, Stupid amounts of Mobo Features. No games.

Also one of the reasons most links are to Tiger Direct(site seems slow) is because I was finding the better deals there, and they have next day shipping for 14(was like 8 or 9 for 2 day not a big jump) vs Neweggs 35 something (15 for 2-3 day shipping)

I'm going to check a few places, but I value your guys opinions. (This would so not be hard if I was building for someone else, but because it's for me I'm trying to leverage all avenues)





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#17 Feb 09 2013 at 6:56 PM Rating: Good
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Sorry as if the post wasn't long enough some sources for you:
GTX 660 vs HD 8750: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-geforce-gtx-650-benchmark,3297-24.html
P67 chipset explanation on PCIx x16 3.0: http://www.overclock.net/t/1242211/faq-does-my-p67-z68-motherboard-s-support-pci-express-3-0
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#18 Feb 09 2013 at 10:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd go with the Geforce 660 GTX + a Z77 chipset Asus board personally. Cheap motherboards you sometimes get what you pay for. Thats just me though.
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#19 Feb 10 2013 at 9:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm out of my depth talking about the motherboards but I'll just say not to let the games be a heavy factor in your decision. You know as well as I do what the staying power of PC game MSRPs are and unless you were legitimately going to buy them at release, you can't value them at $60 each. I mainly wanted to make sure you were getting the offer if you went Radeon.

If the GeForce offers significantly more power for an insignificant amount of cash, I'd go with that and buy Tomb Raider when it's $15.
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#20 Feb 10 2013 at 10:50 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I was leaning that way also. According to everything I've seen the Geforce 660 is about 10% more powerful then the 8750. I wasn't putting much behind the games like you said using the process of a year from now the games will be a lot cheaper. I feel more comfortable with a Geforce anyway as its what I always had in the past.

After doing a bit more research on the mobo I was going to choose with it, I would have to patch the bios on that mobo to get it to recognize the Gen 3 Ivy bridge and since I dont have a way to do that it takes that off the table. I can't afford to get an ASUS board like Kao would say but Ive used Gigabyte and Biostar and never had an issue with them (Funny story the only mobo that gave me a problem in the past was the ASUS A8NE the bridge heatsink fan died and needed to be replaced, which isn't their fault it worked for over a year it was just a moving part failure which is something that could happen to anyone.)

What I'm probably going to do is get a Non SLI Z75/77 board (Z75 is the same as a Z77 without the SLI support) and in a year or so Ill just buy another Geforce 660 and a SLI Z77 (or better chipset if it comes out) board after they drop in price a bit. (Or earlier if there is an awesome deal on them in the near future). My wife wanted me to limit my "upgrading" to 500 bucks and total with shipping Im looking at around 600 now cheapest I can really go, and thats pushing it.
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#21 Feb 10 2013 at 3:19 PM Rating: Good
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BeanX wrote:
Yeah, I was leaning that way also. According to everything I've seen the Geforce 660 is about 10% more powerful then the 8750. I wasn't putting much behind the games like you said using the process of a year from now the games will be a lot cheaper. I feel more comfortable with a Geforce anyway as its what I always had in the past.

After doing a bit more research on the mobo I was going to choose with it, I would have to patch the bios on that mobo to get it to recognize the Gen 3 Ivy bridge and since I dont have a way to do that it takes that off the table. I can't afford to get an ASUS board like Kao would say but Ive used Gigabyte and Biostar and never had an issue with them (Funny story the only mobo that gave me a problem in the past was the ASUS A8NE the bridge heatsink fan died and needed to be replaced, which isn't their fault it worked for over a year it was just a moving part failure which is something that could happen to anyone.)

What I'm probably going to do is get a Non SLI Z75/77 board (Z75 is the same as a Z77 without the SLI support) and in a year or so Ill just buy another Geforce 660 and a SLI Z77 (or better chipset if it comes out) board after they drop in price a bit. (Or earlier if there is an awesome deal on them in the near future). My wife wanted me to limit my "upgrading" to 500 bucks and total with shipping Im looking at around 600 now cheapest I can really go, and thats pushing it.

If you find an MSi board with what you want, you can consider them as well.
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#22 Feb 10 2013 at 4:41 PM Rating: Good
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Well I am ordering it tomorrow after much trials and tribulations. I'm going to go with:

Intel i5-3570K (3.4Ghz) (219.99) from just basic searching for stuff people are saying they can OC on aftermarket air to about 4.4+ pretty stable 5.0 on water cooling. I'm lucky as my current aftermarket also fits LGA 1155 chipsets, so I can just transfer it over, I couldnt find an OEM version anywhere for significantly cheaper was a bit bummed about that.

EVGA Geforce GTX 660 2GB (189.99 after $20 MIR)

BIOSTAR TZ77B Motherboard ($99) Its a bacis no frill board, 2 USB3.0, 4 USB2.0, Gigabit Lan It is Crossfire ready but will work fine with just one Geforce in it non SLIed.

Patriot Viper 3 Extreme Performance Black Mamba (2x4Gig 1866MHz $54.99) I realized my ram wasn't going to cut it with overclocking, Patriots a decent brand a few local shops here swear by it. It supports XMP 1.3 which from the jist of it retimes your RAM from the CPU which is a less hassle for me honestly.

Grand total with Next day shipping(12.72) 597.68 -$20 MIR so $580 not terrible.
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#23 Feb 13 2013 at 3:27 PM Rating: Good
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I'd like opinions on a gaming build, so I'll just add on to this thread if that's OK.

Here's the build, I have a bit more in the budget to improve the CPU if anyone has any suggestions. The core of this build comes from mysuperpc so I am assuming there are no conflicts.

I upgraded the vid card and would not have a problem upgrading the CPU but I don't want to start causing problems with things not working well together. I'm grabbing 8g of RAM and plan on running Win7 Home Premium; would more RAM be a wise or wasteful addition?

Also, I'm not an audiophile, but would it be a good idea to grab a sound card?

It's all Amazon except for direct buy on the RAM:

Case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WK3KKQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

PS: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064LWI40/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

MoBo: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007R21JK4/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

CPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SZ0E1K/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

RAM: http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?imodule=blt2kit4g3d1608dt1tx0&pid=862686

Vid Card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008PQAE98/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

SSD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL2A/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_7?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

HD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SANWI6/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

BlueRay: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZMG55I/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A34FFV8YYDM571
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#24 Feb 13 2013 at 4:21 PM Rating: Good
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cynyck wrote:

Here's the build, I have a bit more in the budget to improve the CPU if anyone has any suggestions. The core of this build comes from mysuperpc so I am assuming there are no conflicts.

I upgraded the vid card and would not have a problem upgrading the CPU but I don't want to start causing problems with things not working well together. I'm grabbing 8g of RAM and plan on running Win7 Home Premium; would more RAM be a wise or wasteful addition?

Also, I'm not an audiophile, but would it be a good idea to grab a sound card?



Well first thing Amazon seemed to be the worst of the few I checked for prices, so you could probably save a few bucks going to Newegg or Tiger Direct. I chose Tiger Direct because their overnight shipping is stupid cheap (13 bucks for me).

As for upgrading CPU you could go with an i7-3930. Its just the upgraded version of the i5 you have there, so wouldn't cause issues. Also Its expensive(500 ish). Wrong i7, you would have to look for the Ivy bridge variant not the Sandy Bridge-e Version Tom's Hardware Jan 2013 Gaming CPUs CPU 200+ dollars list

For Gaming the 8 gigs or Ram is fine, since most of my research the concesus for pure gaming anything after 8 makes little difference (Unless you make a ram disk). You 'may' want to goto 16 if you do any editing. I would suggest going with something higher then PC12800 (1600Mhz), specially if you're looking at any OCing. From my checking around PC3 14900 (DDR3 1866Mhz) seems to be the sweet spot for gaming/basic OC'ing. But you can get all the way up to 2800 MHZ clocked RAM, for the price (I wouldnt suggest going to much higher then 2133Mhz, personal preference) Ill provide a link to the article I found on Ram speeds and link it soon, also the article on Real world testing with 4-6-8-12-16 gigs ram)Tom's Hardware on Ram upgrades

As for soundcard IMHO, as im not an audiophile, your Mobo already has optical out and 5.1, so your pretty good there.





Edited, Feb 13th 2013 4:25pm by BeanX

Edited, Feb 13th 2013 4:33pm by BeanX
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#25 Feb 13 2013 at 4:38 PM Rating: Good
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Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz $319
This is the 6 core version of the i5(4core) it's Ivy bridge, so same as the i5, just bigger. One thing to note games dont use more then 2 cores usually so it would only be a small upgrade. IMHO probobly not worth the extra 100, but thats up to you.
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#26 Feb 13 2013 at 5:32 PM Rating: Good
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Ditch that PSU and find a modular one. You'll thank me later.
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#27 Feb 13 2013 at 5:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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Usual consensus is that anything over 8GB RAM and more than an i5 is largely wasted on a gaming box as modern games won't really use them. If you're into other stuff like video editing they may prove a better return for the upcharge.
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#28 Feb 13 2013 at 9:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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That Corsair SSd is a nice unit, its what I was running in my main until i upgraded to the twice as fast Samsung 840 Pro series 256 GB drive $230 at the moment from newegg, so $30 more for twice the Iops would definitly would be worth checking out. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147193

Power supply will work for your system, though I second looking for a modular unit. Makes the build much easier.

Plan on getting a second one of those rotational 1TB drives and put both drives in a Raid 1 mirror array for backup purposes. Better to have your data on two spindles rather than just one for 5 years down the line when the drive fails.

That case is a nice unit, well built. Plenty of airflow.

I'd say go with 16GB ram over 8 since ram is dirt cheap still, most games won't use it, but some, especially MMO's will. Before you throw more money at a CPU though I'd consider either upgrading the video card, or putting it towards a larger power supply and a second video card to use in crossfire mode, assuming you have a decently large monitor to begin with. 650 is fine for a single card, but won't support duals.

Other than that, aside from the already mentioned pricing on the links you provided, looks good.
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#29 Feb 15 2013 at 9:52 AM Rating: Good
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Well I finally got a chance to get my system together, all the parts came yesterday. I am pleasantly surprised. I ran Planetside 2 set to High 55-70 FPS in smaller fights, 30-40 in medium/big fights fights. I the FPS meter said it was GPU capping with a bit of CPU capping outside of battle, and I havent even OC'ed yet.

The Intel reverse pins on the CPU was a bit freaky. Im used to the CPU having pins on the bottom not this Mobo has pins/cpu held in place by pressure type thing. Oh well live and learn. Also the i5 run hot compared to an AMD Phenom II. Idle temps are abut the same 31/32 vs 27/29 and underload around 50 degrees vs 45 ish. But I guess you can go into the high 60s and be safe on the Gen 3 i5's.

The Geforce 660 only has the need of 1 6in power, versus my 460 SE needing 2, but compared to the 460 the 660 is HUGE.

Also Nvidia is running a deal if you buy a 660 or higher card you get a code for Hawken, Planetside 2(Station Cash), and World of Tanks giving a 50 dollar credit in each (They are all F2P games) which I was excited by when I found that out.

The Mobo, while basic, had on board PW switch and Reset switch while not super useful overall was awesome for testing the system before finalizing the build, also has an LED display built on that gives BIOS codes (Versus trying to figure out Bios Beeps) which is kind of nice.

The only issue I ran into is for some reason bios doesn't recognize my G510 keyboard so to access it I had to pull out an old Microsoft KB and use that (Only to access the BIOS by hitting DEL, and in Bios. KB works fine in Windows).


Edited, Feb 15th 2013 9:53am by BeanX
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#30 Feb 17 2013 at 2:26 AM Rating: Good
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I know Kao built his water cooling system (And.. it's **** nice /drool) but I'd ditch that stock fan on the processor and go with one of these:

Corsair coolers

I've been using the H60 and haven't had any problems at all. They're only for cooling the processor, so you won't be able to cool anything else. Big bonus is they are hella quiet compared to that stock fan.
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#31 Feb 17 2013 at 5:26 AM Rating: Good
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I'm going to have to look into one of those. I just used my aftermarket from the AMD board the Coolmaster Hyper TX3. (Thermaltake V3 BE: This is the case I bought a few years ago, I really like it)

I actually had to take apart the system tonight I realized the fan on that heatsink was blowing the wrong way (Down into the case) isntead of Up out of the case. Then I realized the clearance between the Graphics card and CPU wouldnt allow adequate room for air to be sucked in. So I took my Heatsink off and turned it 90 degrees, so its blowing almost directly out the back (and into another fan that blows out also).

Honestly Im not to worried about heat ATM, Idle Im at 23-28, So far in game I'm hitting 47, and the cut off Im allowing is 70 (the lowest temp on the mobo for safety cut off) and I realized last night the turbo is kicking in automatically and OC'ing my CPU to 3.8. So on air I should be able to get up to 4.2 maybe higher I'm not sure. Otherwise everything is working great.


Edited, Feb 17th 2013 5:29am by BeanX
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#32 Feb 17 2013 at 12:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Those Corsair coolers are nice. I've installed a couple of them in client computers now. We're still using the equivelent Intel water cooling ones at work for our high end engineering builds, but we'll be switching in the next revision because the intel ones are a pain in the **** to install. Once they're in, they work great. the corsair ones work the same, they are just much easier to get in the case in the first place.
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