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Old 11-03-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
pb0t
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Default 1500~ PC Build

Hi all,

New user in search of some validation on components I'm looking to order this week. My near 3 year old AMD X3 (445) has finally just about reached it's limit. Looking for some future proofing here, and will use it for light to moderate games, they're not super intensive (Civ 5, new Sim City, some FPS, etc). Unlikely to overclock (though I did with my AMD to unlock the 4th core) - but you never know. US based - 100% committed to Intel + NVidia. AMD has fallen behind here. Note - this won't be my

I'll be reusing:

- Antec 900 case
- 16 GB (4x4) Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 1600 (Not the fastest, but it'll do)
- Optical drive

Here's the build:

Power Supply- SeaSonic X Series X-850
Motherboard - ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
CPU - Intel i7-3770K
Heatsink - Noctua NH-D14
Graphics - MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670
SSD - Samsung 830 512gb SSD

That sneaks me a bit over where I'd like to be, but 1,500 isn't a hard limit. My hesitations here are:

SSD. While I'm 100% committed to going with a primary SSD, I'm reluctant to build around the 830, as it's been replaced by the 840. Everything I've read to date indicates that the 830 is the superior drive, so that's my justification here. That being said, since I do plan on eventually adding 2-3 more and attempting to setup a RAID, the 830 will be impossible to find by that point.

Graphics. Am I making an error going with the 670? I've seen mixed thoughts here. The 680 seems only marginally better, and is ~30% more expensive. And, the 690 is completely out of my budget right now.

I'm also a little concerned about the spacing on the Noctua heatsink. I have low profile RAM already, but I've seen mixed thoughts on how it fits together with the ASRock.

Thanks ya'll!

Last edited by pb0t; 11-03-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:38 AM   #2
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FYI. I got the X-750 and I love it. It originally had a little bit of coil whine, but after a few days it disappeared... I guess some things just had to warm up?

My only regrets was I didn't get the X-850 (which you seem to be getting!) since I am planning to SLI. From what it sounds like X-750 should do it, but it never hearts to have a little extra power especially if you can afford it.

I got the 3770 (non-K) CPU and I love it as well. Getting very good productivity on it.

I got the GTX670 4GB version, and since you're spending so much already, might as well toss in the extra +3% and get the 4GB too. I would forget about the GTX680 since the two cards have basically the exact same memory performance.

SSD, personally opinion, I just prefer Intel, but seems like Samsung is a good choice.

Motherboard, do you intend to run Linux? Probably will work perfectly fine w. your board too, but I went w. an Intel board just to make sure (e.g., more Intel validation) that linux runs nicely out of the box.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambchops511
My only regrets was I didn't get the X-850 (which you seem to be getting!) since I am planning to SLI. From what it sounds like X-750 should do it, but it never hearts to have a little extra power especially if you can afford it.
Don't sweat it. For GTX 670 SLI I think the X750 is a better pick than the X850, the latter would just be overkill. It could run Tri-SLI. Even an X-650 would handle 670 SLI perfectly fine
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:00 AM   #4
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Looking at the rig you're coming from and your gaming requirements, you really really don't need an i7 rig. i5 will do just fine.

I also think the $1500 budget is a bit high, I would rather recommend spending around $1000 and saving the rest for future upgrades.

CPU i5-3570K $220 (do you have a Microcenter nearby?)
Cooler CM Hyper 612 PWM $45 (how far are you planning to overclock?)
Mobo Z77 Extreme3 $110
RAM Reuse $0
GPU MSI GTX 670 PE/OC $370 AR

SSD Holy crap that 512GB drive is expensive. Samsung 830 256GB is just $200 - having a bit of extra space isn't worth $300. The main benefit of an SSD is the speed for your OS and programs, not the storage capacity. Just get a 256GB drive and if you need more space, buy a HDD like ST2000DM001 $90. FWIW, I think the 830 is a better pick than the 840. 840 itself is a bit of a downgrade, the real replacement for 830 is the 840 Pro which is a lot worse bang for buck and doesn't really offer any improvements you'll notice. The 830 is a tested and tried drive you can trust.

PSU That is overkill. And there's no point getting the X series unless you're paying for the silence, and if you are, you need to make sure the rest of your build is designed to achieve that goal as well. There are much less expensive modular gold units like Antec HCP-750 $90 AR. However, you're very unlikely to ever go SLI on 1080p for "light to moderate games". I'd probably just get a Capstone 550-M for $70

Case On your budget, I recommend getting a new case. The 900 is an old design with crappy cable management, poor 3.5" implementation and no PSU intake area. CM Storm Scout 2 $100, Antec 1100 $98
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
Looking at the rig you're coming from and your gaming requirements, you really really don't need an i7 rig. i5 will do just fine.

I also think the $1500 budget is a big high, I would rather recommend spending around $1000 and saving the rest for future upgrades.

CPU i5-3570K $220 (do you have a Microcenter nearby?)
Cooler CM Hyper 612 PWM $45 (how far are you planning to overclock?)
Mobo Z77 Extreme3 $110
RAM Reuse $0
GPU MSI GTX 670 PE/OC $370 AR

SSD Holy crap that 512GB drive is expensive. Samsung 830 256GB is just $200 - having a bit of extra space isn't worth $300. The main benefit of an SSD is the speed for your OS and programs, not the storage capacity. Just get a 256GB drive and if you need more space, buy a HDD like ST2000DM001 $90. FWIW, I think the 830 is a better pick than the 840. 840 itself is a bit of a downgrade, the real replacement for 830 is the 840 Pro which is a lot worse bang for buck and doesn't really offer any improvements you'll notice. The 830 is a tested and tried drive you can trust.

PSU That is overkill. And there's no point getting the X series unless you're paying for the silence, and if you are, you need to make sure the rest of your build designed to achieve that goal as well. There are much less expensive modular gold units like Antec HCP-750 $90 AR. However, you're very unlikely to ever go SLI on 1080p for "light to moderate games". I'd probably just get a Capstone 550-M for $70

Case On your budget, I recommend getting a new case. The 900 is an old design with crappy cable management, poor 3.5" implementation and no PSU intake area. CM Storm Scout 2 $100, Antec 1100 $98
Agreed across the board.

I would also like to just make a point about RAID. If you're doing it for performance, don't expect to see any gains at all from SSDs in RAID0, especially with the uses you've described.

If you're planning on something like RAID1, keep in mind that it's not an actual backup. It's intended to reduce downtime, not be a secure backup.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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Agreed, agreed.

PSU is too much, SSD is way too much, Cpu may be too much. This is all considering your uses - the parts you mention actually are quite good, just not worth it for you.

I would second the idea of moving on from the Antec 900. I had mine for over four years and it served me well, but I chose a different case (and actually went mATX) for my current build. New cases offer many advantages, although you likely won't find a case with better cooling than the Antec 900, as most cases have simply copied its basic layout.

I think the motherboard choice is fine given your budget, however, and saving $20 or so by stepping down doesn't make much sense to me. I see about $400 worth of savings elsewhere (capstone 550w or Seasonic 650w psu, 3570K, and Samsung 830 256GB plus hard drive). Use some of that savings on a nice Corsair or Antec case.

One more thing - given your nvidia preference, the GTX670 is fine if a bit overpowered for your games, but do not spend $370 on it. Prices are dropping fast on it, as it's quite uncompetitive at $370 versus the AMD cards. Shop around for a better deal, $350 or below.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyones feedback here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lambchops511
Motherboard, do you intend to run Linux?
Probably just Windows. I have an Ubuntu partition on my existing computer, and haven't used it in quite a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv
(do you have a Microcenter nearby?)
No Microcenter, unfortunately. I assume you ask because of the 30 rebate on MBs with CPUS? That'd be sweet, but won't be an option. I do have a Fry's a few miles away, and they'll price match just about any price online (including combos). Unfortunately, they don't carry ASRock mobos.

Other thoughts: I may go SLI down the road - which is why I invested in the SeaSonic 850. This still may be overkill, so will look at the 750s.

I also thought a bit more about the SSD las night - and think that getting the 512 is silly. While it's priced somewhat inline with it's competitors, I hate paying that premium for what will be a one off drive. With that in mind, I'll try and track down a Samsung 830 256 - they're just getting hard to find.

Finally, thanks for the case suggestions - any others? I was going to pick up a cheap and basic ATX case at Fry's for $20 to swap the guts of the X3 to, but the extra money for a better case + time saved in transplant surgery may make it worthwhile.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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Also the consensus here is that the i5-3570k may be a better chip for my use? I realize that I likely won't take advantage of the extra features of the 3770k right now, but for $80 or so extra, this seemed worthwhile. Will it not buy me any extra future proofing?
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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The $80 you save will buy you better future proofing because you can spend it on a future CPU with better performance per core. The hyperthreading doesn't really offer benefits gaming-wise except in a select few titles and only with very powerful graphics setups (battlefield 3 64-player conquest). The trend in game development is still that games are optimized for four threads, some only two. An overclocked i5-3570K is a superb gaming CPU for 2-3 years, and the 3770K wouldn't really last any longer unless games become heavily multithreaded in that time
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
...

Case On your budget, I recommend getting a new case. The 900 is an old design with crappy cable management, poor 3.5" implementation and no PSU intake area. CM Storm Scout 2 $100, Antec 1100 $98
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb0t View Post

Finally, thanks for the case suggestions - any others? I was going to pick up a cheap and basic ATX case at Fry's for $20 to swap the guts of the X3 to, but the extra money for a better case + time saved in transplant surgery may make it worthwhile.
To the nice list above, I'd add the Corsair Carbide 300R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811139011

The Fractal Design Arc Midi also looks nice for about the same price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811352007

By the way, on the 3570k/3770k question, I do think the 3770 offers a bit of future-proofing, as I have found my i7-860 to perform better in new games with HT on than with HT off, and I think this is a view into the lifespan of the 3770k (and hence why I bought one).

As for the PSU, 650w is sufficient for GTX670 SLI. Watch out for killer deals, though, on the Seasonic x750, which was recently on sale for $100.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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Also - on video, is this a better option?

GeForce GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB. End of the day, it's ~40 more than the 2 GB 670 I'd previously selected. Semi-makes sense, I suppose, but if I'm going to start creeping up on price, would I be better off going for a 680?
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:53 AM   #12
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Hell Op,for the price of that ssd 500gb,i would easily prefer buying a damn 180gb at best saving over $300,spend a bit more on the $200 x79 asrock and drop in a 3930k...if your seriously multitasking.

Or if anything still get the 3770k,buy a 256gb samsung 830,buy a 2tb black drive and have some money left over even still.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by pb0t View Post
Also - on video, is this a better option?

GeForce GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB. End of the day, it's ~40 more than the 2 GB 670 I'd previously selected. Semi-makes sense, I suppose, but if I'm going to start creeping up on price, would I be better off going for a 680?
You're creeping up way too much here...what's your resolution?

You simply do not need 4GB for 1900x1200 or below, and if you were actually at 2560, I'd strongly recommend an HD7970 3GB at this point.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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Agree with Termie. AMD's 3GB cards are the best bang for buck on 2560 wide, and at 1080p, 2GB VRAM is plenty.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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You're creeping up way too much here...what's your resolution?

You simply do not need 4GB for 1900x1200 or below, and if you were actually at 2560, I'd strongly recommend an HD7970 3GB at this point.
Thanks. I tend to talk myself into upgrades I may not actually need. Current resolution is 1900 x 1200 on a Samsung 245BW. Likely moving to a multi-monitor setup as my next upgrade, though likely sticking with 2x24" setup for workspace reasons (and even that may not happen).

I'm gun shy on the HD7970 because of purported driver issues and Newegg comments. That being said, my X3 machine has a HD5770 that's never let me down. It seems a better value, both in money and performance.

I've already "saved" $300 by swapping out the Samsung 830 512gb for the lessor 256gb. Found and ordered at 190 shipped. I have a secondary storage drive (internal Seagate Barracuda 3tb) - as well as an external 3 tb drive for backups/archive. I've moved some of that savings to the Antec 1100, and while I'm not committed to maxing out my budget (or blowing right through it), I also want to get the best possible components I can that will offer me ~3 years of performance and enjoyment.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #16
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Not to mention that factory-OC'ed video cards are usually not worth the price premium they tend to carry. Most video cards will overclock slightly if that's something you want to do. It's even easier than CPU overclocking a lot of the time.

EVGA is kind of lagging behind the industry and coasting on name recognition a little bit at this point in my opinion. I'd much rather buy a less expensive MSI or Gigabyte card with no OC and an upgraded cooler than a factory-overclocked EVGA card with an old-style blower cooler.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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EVGA is kind of lagging behind the industry and coasting on name recognition a little bit at this point in my opinion. I'd much rather buy a less expensive MSI or Gigabyte card with no OC and an upgraded cooler than a factory-overclocked EVGA card with an old-style blower cooler.
Agree 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb0t View Post
Other thoughts: I may go SLI down the road - which is why I invested in the SeaSonic 850. This still may be overkill, so will look at the 750s.
Unless you drastically change your taste in games or drop $500 on a 2560-wide monitor, you won't ever have a need to go SLI. Spending a ton on a PSU to facilitate something that you might do is a waste of money. The GTX 670 is ridiculously efficient, a complete system including overclocked LGA 2011 processor draws around 317W at the wall when gaming. A quality 550W PSU like this XFX is all you need.

In the same vein, I would recommend changing the motherboard to a Z77 Pro3 and saving another $30.

Another thing that I'd like to reinforce, is that the NH-D14 is beyond crazy for somebody who isn't planning to overclock. Get the Hyper 612 that lehtv originally recommended.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termie View Post
By the way, on the 3570k/3770k question, I do think the 3770 offers a bit of future-proofing, as I have found my i7-860 to perform better in new games with HT on than with HT off, and I think this is a view into the lifespan of the 3770k (and hence why I bought one).
The point is not whether or not a HT-enabled processor is marginally faster than one without in some situations. The point is that an HT-enabled processor is not 33% faster.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:53 PM   #19
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The point is not whether or not a HT-enabled processor is marginally faster than one without in some situations. The point is that an HT-enabled processor is not 33% faster.
Oh, I don't disagree, and in fact that's why I recommended the 3570K for the OP.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:56 PM   #20
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Oh, I don't disagree, and in fact that's why I recommended the 3570K for the OP.
Just clarifying the point since its easy enough to get the wrong impression from your followup (I certainly did on the first read through).
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #21
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Also - on video, is this a better option?

GeForce GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB. End of the day, it's ~40 more than the 2 GB 670 I'd previously selected. Semi-makes sense, I suppose, but if I'm going to start creeping up on price, would I be better off going for a 680?
While the other posters have very valid points, at the end of the day it is your build. Personally since you are already willing to spend that dough, I say why not go for the Intel i7 3770 + GTX670 4GB. I see it as a little "future-proofing" (not really) or just candy for yourself. I mean you might save $100 to $150 which is really only like 10% of your system cost, I say might as well (unless you really are short on dough).

Finally, I would get the larger SSD, I have several SSDs now and I will never turn or buy another rotational disk ever again. This is obviously different for everyone, but time == money for me. Without any scientific proof, I also believe the disk failure rates for SSDs are much lower than rotational media.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:26 PM   #22
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Unless he actually has 450GB worth of programs the extra $300 spent on the 512GB SSD is money wasted. He could use that cash to go to a multi-monitor setup.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:15 AM   #23
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Without any scientific proof, I also believe the disk failure rates for SSDs are much lower than rotational media.
It is his build and of course he can go for the more expensive parts if he likes, but let's pause for a second.

When you're recommending someone spend hundreds of dollars extra you really should be prepared to provide some kind of objective evidence. Otherwise you're presenting yourself as a voice of experience and information while making a recommendation that you don't actually have solid support for. It can be misleading for someone who doesn't have the know-how to discern that nuance for themselves.

I'm not saying you meant to mislead - I know you didn't.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:40 PM   #24
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While the other posters have very valid points, at the end of the day it is your build. Personally since you are already willing to spend that dough, I say why not go for the Intel i7 3770 + GTX670 4GB. I see it as a little "future-proofing" (not really) or just candy for yourself. I mean you might save $100 to $150 which is really only like 10% of your system cost, I say might as well (unless you really are short on dough).
Only way to future-proof is to save money to spend on future parts. That $150 would go a lot further as a part of a 2015 GPU than it will in an incremental upgrade to a 2012 CPU and GPU. That is enough reason to hold onto IMHO, then again I've been doing this for a while and don't get as excited over individual parts as I used to.

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Finally, I would get the larger SSD, I have several SSDs now and I will never turn or buy another rotational disk ever again. This is obviously different for everyone, but time == money for me. Without any scientific proof, I also believe the disk failure rates for SSDs are much lower than rotational media.
Here's some data for SSD and HDD. On average, it looks like HDDs are slightly more reliable, but SSDs look better if you throw out the horrendous OCZ scores.

Side note: 15% failure on the Vertex 2 240GB? Holy crap, no wonder they are going out of business.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:18 PM   #25
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Hi all,

Thanks for everyones feedback. You've all made valid points - especially on power/needs/cost. Here's the final build (purchased partially last week and finalized today).

- Case: Antec 1100 (Amazon, $96)
- PS: SeaSonic X750 (Newegg, $100 - on sale)
- MB: AsRock Extreme4 (Amazon, $114)
- CPU: Intel i5-3570k (Amazon, $220)
- Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 612 (Amazon, $45)
- SSD : Samsung 830 256 GB (Amazon, $190)
- Graphics: MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 (Newegg, $370)

That put me all-in at $1,135 (plus tax). I'll be reusing:

- RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP (16 GB 4x4 DDR3 1600)
- Optical: Asus 24X DVD burner
- Monitor: Samsung 245BW
- KB/Mouse, OS, etc.
- 3TB Seagate Baracuda for storage

This will leave my old rig pretty much in-tact (older Dell 20" FP + KB/Mouse/Opitcal and 4GB of RAM pre-upgrade) to pass off to my 8 year old for Minecraft.

Again, really appreciate everyone's help here. I need to be talked out of overbuying (like the CPU, heatsink and powersupply).

Note: I only got the SeaSonic X750 instead of a 650 because the Newegg sale price was just too good.
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