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laneford
07-07-2012, 02:32 PM
Hello all people nerdier and cleverererer than I.

I have finally, reluctantly, decide to get rid of my five year old, pentium D rig, the one with half a case, where cooling is provided by a desk fan and one harddrive is resting on top of a paperback (brighton rock, if you're interested) as I can't get it to sit inside the housing.

As it's been so long, I've decided to treat myself and push the proverbial boat out a bit, within reason.

I've flicked through Hard Choices, and attempted to read about these things. And this is vaguely what I've come up with.

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
179.50
CPU FAN: Zalman CNPS9900-MAX
39.9
MOBO: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 Socket 1155 HDMI DisplayPort 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
168.92
RAM: Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Memory
80.43
GFX Card: Palit GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 DisplayPort HDMI Dual DVI PCI-E Graphics Card
293.55
CASE: Coolermaster Silencio 550 Case
64.17
PSU: Coolermaster GX 650W PSU
66.71
SSD: OCZ 240GB Agility 3 SSD
145
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit
68.28

Total is about 1100, which is 100 more than I had planned, but still doable.

Things I need to know:

Firstly, will it work? (I assume all these things are compatible, but I'm not sure) secondly, is there any obvious glaring errors in terms of overpowered/underpowered bits of the pc, or anything which isn't needed, thirdly, is anything overpriced that I could get cheaper? (all these prices are from ebuyer) and finally is that cpu ok? I'm not exactly going to be editing the dark knight, but I do a bit of video editing and stuff, and I was looking at a core i7 3770 for another 50 or so.

Oh and finally I'm not going to be overclocking (I suspect) as it scares me and I don't want to blow anything up.

Cheers for your input. Have a cookie.

Feldspar
07-07-2012, 02:49 PM
If you're not going to overclock, then you don't want to pay for a processor with a K on the end, that means overclockable. The i5 3570 is about 12 squid cheaper and will get you the same performance, which, incidentally, is plenty, you don't really need the i7.

CMaster
07-07-2012, 03:26 PM
Eh, for 12 I'd get the K. The unlocked multiplier and the built in graphics could come in useful at some point (especially as the Intel HD graphics can be used to dramatically speed up certain video encodes), especially for such a small difference. However, if you're prepared to shop around you can get the i5-2550k for about 155, which considering how close the performance is to the 3570k might be well worth considering. The i7 does offer some advantages for video editing, and even more advantages for virtualization, but I'd still say you're unlikely to notice.

The bigger question marks are the motherboard - 170 is an awful lot when you can get a perfectly good Z77 board for 70-80. Is there any features you really need from that more than double mobo? 300 is also an awful lot to spend on a graphics card - I'd say in general you'd do better spending half of that now, then the other half in 18-36 months time on a new card.

If after downgrading the mobo and graphics card, you still want to spend your 1000, you could always look into getting a Crucial M4 512gb SSD instead, they're going for around 300 from Amazon among others at the moment.

SirKicksalot
07-07-2012, 03:51 PM
Are you sure you don't want a modular PSU? Cable management can be a bitch. A modular PSU is good for the air flow too.

byteCrunch
07-07-2012, 04:00 PM
As I have said in some other threads, I still recommend a Sandy-Bridge over the Ivy-Bridge, even more so if you plan to overclock.

I would suggest you go for a i5 2500k, they are still buy far the best "gaming" CPU you can get, the Ivy-Bridge CPUs are a bit of a pointless upgrade, they offer very little extra performance at stock speeds, and yet are up to 50+ more. Get a 2500k, a decent air cooler and just overclock it to 4Ghz.



Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 1155 - 125
CPU: Intel i5 2500k - 150 (If you can find an OEM version even cheaper.)
GPU: GTX 670 - 290
or a Radeon HD7950 - 280
Ram: Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Memory - 80
PSU: Seasonic Bronze S12II 620 Bronze - 76 (If you can find the modular version M12II, get that.)
SSD: Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 120GB SATA III - 130


With the case, cpu fan and Windows 7, this comes in at around 1000, even less if you can get some good deals, I would suggest going for a cheaper GPU, you really do not need a 670 (or its AMD equivalent).
If you dropped the 670 and went for something like a 6870 (which is more than enough for 95% of games), not to mention it would bring the overall cost down to only around 800, saving you money to upgrade in the future.

Eric
07-07-2012, 04:02 PM
You also don't really need an aftermarket cooler for your processor if you're not going to be overclocking, unless noise is an issue for you.

sabrage
07-07-2012, 04:38 PM
You also don't really need an aftermarket cooler for your processor if you're not going to be overclocking, unless noise is an issue for you.
My intel's stock fan left a nasty residue all over my processor. They're cheap, might as well get one.

byteCrunch
07-07-2012, 04:50 PM
My intel's stock fan left a nasty residue all over my processor. They're cheap, might as well get one.

That is thermal compound, it is to improve contact with the CPU, since flat surfaces, aren't flat. The compound fills in the microscopic gaps to improve heat conduction.

From what I remember the stock Intel coolers have three strips of it already applied to base of the heatsink.

sabrage
07-07-2012, 04:51 PM
I wouldn't trust the chalky stock compound over good ol' Arctic Silver.

Fumarole
07-07-2012, 05:01 PM
Your build is almost identical to the one I built about a month ago. Same CPU, mobo and RAM; the only difference being I have a GTX680 and a smaller SSD.

Regarding overclocking, the Sabertooth makes it incredibly ​easy to do via the kickass new BIOS. As long as you have decent cooling it should be a snap.

I love it, and so will you.

FriendlyFire
07-07-2012, 05:05 PM
The impact of thermal paste is really overrated. While it is better than thermal pads like you find on stock Intel coolers, the difference is marginal at best. You'd be crazy to remove the pads from a stock cooler and replace them with thermal paste (while still using the Intel cooler), for instance.

However, I'd point out that most motherboards these days can offer some form of automatic overclock. My P8P67 certainly does so and I've not felt the need to improve upon its default 4.1GHz overclock as of yet. In such cases an aftermarket cooler can be good to provide full air flow. No need to go overboard with it (like I did...), just a well-regarded sub-$30 cooler will probably do the job fine.

EDIT: @Fumarole: I'm pretty sure the Sabertooth shares virtually the same UEFI as every other Asus board, perhaps just with some different branding. Honestly I've bought *one* Asus "named" card (Striker Extreme back in the day) and just don't see the point (it didn't help that it was a fucking mess that retrospectively is probably the reason I burned through four sticks of RAM and had boot issues with my 5850 GPU). Their P-series motherboards are more than enough for every use scenario and usually cost a fair bit less.

laneford
07-07-2012, 05:35 PM
You guys are wondrous, I am assimilating your comments and making changes as necessary. Particularly looking into downgrading the motherboard as suggested.

The graphics card does somewhat seem like overkill, but I quite want this thing to have some oomph, and I'd prefer to spend the money now, whilst I still have it, than buy something with a view to upgrading for the same cost again, in a year or two.

Fumarole, hows the system working out so far?

Finicky
07-07-2012, 05:36 PM
Your build is almost identical to the one I built about a month ago. Same CPU, mobo and RAM; the only difference being I have a GTX680 and a smaller SSD.

Regarding overclocking, the Sabertooth makes it incredibly ​easy to do via the kickass new BIOS. As long as you have decent cooling it should be a snap.

I love it, and so will you.
Any motherboard makes it incredibly easy to OC any cpu with an unlocked multiplier...

OP that motherboard is 100 pounds overpriced, get a cheaper alternative.

As others said, get an i5 2500k it's still more than you'll need for the coming years for gaming.
Definitely get a K one, ocing is easy and a good way to get some extra performance out of your cpu should you ever need it.

As amd user I'd highly recommend you do indeed go with nvidia for a high end pc, I wish I had the option to use sgssaa like nvidia users. (the main reason to get a high end gpu is so you can use supersampling to get proper AA in the many games that don't have real AA support, honestly : having great image quality is one of the main benifits of pc gaming and most recent games won't allow that without supersampling which in turn requires a high end nvidia gpu).

Invest in some quiet fans for your case and cpu and in a big heatsink for your cpu and gpu, it's worth the extra money, maybe spend some of that cash you'd have thrown away on an overpriced mobo or cpu , you'll actually notice a difference here when your pc is quiet.

Kadayi
07-07-2012, 06:10 PM
With regards to the K, it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Are you planning on just using the SDD alone or do you have a standard HDD as well for storing documents etc?

Also as SirKicksalot says a modular PSU might be worth considering.

laneford
07-07-2012, 06:18 PM
Are you planning on just using the SDD alone or do you have a standard HDD as well for storing documents etc?

Also as SirKicksalot says a modular PSU might be worth considering.

I've got a regular 1TB HDD from the old rig, so I'm using that.

I didn't know what a modular PSU was until today, so I'm looking into that.

duff
07-07-2012, 07:53 PM
That's a beast. I'm jealous. I'd suggest getting a corsair psu though. I don't have any personal experience of coolermaster but I believe they have a reputation for not being as reliable.

FriendlyFire
07-07-2012, 08:06 PM
Corsair, Seasonic, Antec would be my recommendations for PSUs. Never, ever skimp on a PSU.

@Kadayi: Yes. Modular PSUs are just an awesome thing and should damn well be universal by now (sadly they aren't).

Kadayi
07-07-2012, 10:24 PM
I've got a regular 1TB HDD from the old rig, so I'm using that.

When it comes to installing windows just have the SSD attached initially. Once it's all configured then hook up the HDD on a reboot. It can mess your drive sequence up (so the SSD becomes D: rather than C:) if the windows installer detects an earlier install on an attached HDD I've found from experience.


I'd suggest getting a corsair psu though. I don't have any personal experience of coolermaster but I believe they have a reputation for not being as reliable.

I have a Corsair 650W modular: -

http://www.ebuyer.com/173104-corsair-650w-hx-modular-psu-cmpsu-650hxuk

Not cheap, but it's extremely quiet, has good cable options and has a 7 year warranty on it on top. I'd recommend it for sure.

duff
07-07-2012, 11:39 PM
Yeh you really, really, don't want to skimp out on the PSU. I's not as glamorous as your GPU or processor but if you fall into the trap of getting a cheap PSU, like I have, you can run into all sorts of reliability issues in a couple of years (especially if you upgrade to a hungry graphics card). I have a non-modular Corsair right now and all the cables come braided together which is really nice if you don't want to get a modular one.

Fumarole
08-07-2012, 12:25 AM
Fumarole, hows the system working out so far?It totally kicks ass. It boots to windows in 5-7 seconds and even the feared Shogun 2 loads battles in about 30-40 seconds. It runs everything I've thrown at it on max settings at 1920x1200 with excellent framerates. I spent $1,475 on it, retaining only my old case, data drive, monitor and mouse.

If you go with the Sabertooth be mindful of modular PSUs. In my experience they have large connectors and the Sabertooth's cooling/armor thingy may get in the way of a clean connection. I don't mind having the unnecessary cables attached to the PSU as I just tie them up and stuff them into the bay where my optical drive used to be.

Mistabashi
08-07-2012, 01:15 AM
Do not buy an OCZ Agility 3, it's one of the most unreliable SSDs on the market. Look at the Crucial, Intel, Samsung, or some of the newer Corsair & Kingston branded units.

Grizzly
08-07-2012, 12:07 PM
Yeh you really, really, don't want to skimp out on the PSU. I's not as glamorous as your GPU or processor but if you fall into the trap of getting a cheap PSU, like I have, you can run into all sorts of reliability issues in a couple of years (especially if you upgrade to a hungry graphics card). .

I absolutely second this. When an PSU goes down whilst you are using your PC, it can AND WILL set off a chain reaction, frying some of your other system components as well (this has happened to us several times and it is NOT FUN). So for the sake of saving money, forget about any budgets you have set yourself and get yourself the most awesome PSU you can get. The one Kedayi recommended looks good, especially due to the long warrenty.

I also recommend getting the Sandy Bridge over the Ivy Bridge. The Ivy bridges advantage does not lie in speed, but in power consumption - the Ivy bridges can do the same thing as the sandy bridges but require less power to do so. They do however, for some reason, run a lot warmer then the sandy bridges. The sandy's are both cheaper and cooler, which is all that matters to your system.


The graphics card does somewhat seem like overkill, but I quite want this thing to have some oomph, and I'd prefer to spend the money now, whilst I still have it, than buy something with a view to upgrading for the same cost again, in a year or two. .

If I had your amount of money I would buy an 670 as well. Quite sure that thing will be able to last for quite a while.

FriendlyFire
08-07-2012, 06:58 PM
Whichever particular model you end up choosing, keep in mind that AMD's drivers are, quite frankly, abysmal. I've used Nvidia's drivers back in the 8800GTX days and am using AMD's drivers now and AMD is still lacking features that Nvidia had back then. I still can't get my monitor configuration to stick properly for goodness's sake!

laneford
08-07-2012, 09:57 PM
Ok so...

Here's what I'm now thinking. Same as in the first post except,

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Socket 1155

SSD: Samsung 256GB 830 Series SSD Kit

PSU: Corsair TXM 650W Modular PSU (is 650w enough here?)

This puts me at almost exactly a grand. (Just over) Which would be excellent. Less so if you guys think I don't need the extra cpu fan, or can find me a good one for cheaper than 40 (which is how much the zalman is)

Regarding the i5 2500k, there's only an 8 difference between that one and the i5 3750k which I had down originally. So I figure I might as well stick with that, unless that's a mistake for some other reason.

Feldspar
08-07-2012, 10:05 PM
This puts me at almost exactly a grand. (Just over) Which would be excellent. Less so if you guys think I don't need the extra cpu fan, or can find me a good one for cheaper than 40 (which is how much the zalman is)

40 sounds a lot for a fan, 50 will buy you an enclosed CPU water cooler (one of the little thingies that just does the CPU), which would be complete overkill. Think I have one of these -http://www.dabs.com/products/arctic-cooling-freezer-7-pro-rev-2-cpu-cooler-73WG.html?refs=4294946720&src=2 which is about 15 and does the job fine (it's not the quiestest thing on the market, though).

laneford
08-07-2012, 10:12 PM
Sold.

That's me down to 1015 now...

Alex Bakke
08-07-2012, 10:23 PM
If you're still trying to squeeze the price down a bit, I'd say go with the 128GB version of that SSD instead of 256. You'll be hard pressed to fill 128GB, let alone 256.

Kadayi
09-07-2012, 12:24 AM
PSU: Corsair TXM 650W Modular PSU (is 650w enough here?)


Unless you're planning on massively OCing and running a a triple SLI it should be more than enough for your needs. Use this though to give you an idea of power consumption if you're worried: -

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp


If you're still trying to squeeze the price down a bit, I'd say go with the 128GB version of that SSD instead of 256. You'll be hard pressed to fill 128GB, let alone 256.

True that. I'm just running a 120GB and with Win7 and all my principal apps installed on the SSD I've still got a good 50GB free (Origin and Steam are installed to the HDD).

Mistabashi
09-07-2012, 01:27 AM
Think I have one of these -http://www.dabs.com/products/arctic-cooling-freezer-7-pro-rev-2-cpu-cooler-73WG.html?refs=4294946720&src=2 which is about 15 and does the job fine (it's not the quiestest thing on the market, though).

Personally I'd steer clear of any coolers using 92mm or smaller fans, because as you've noted they aren't very quiet. The Cooler Master Hyper212 evo seems a pretty decent option for fairly cheap (25 from this place (http://www.kikatek.com/product_info.php?products_id=210635&source=froogle)), although there are quieter ones if you're willing to pay the extra.

Eric
09-07-2012, 02:04 AM
Whichever particular model you end up choosing, keep in mind that AMD's drivers are, quite frankly, abysmal. I've used Nvidia's drivers back in the 8800GTX days and am using AMD's drivers now and AMD is still lacking features that Nvidia had back then. I still can't get my monitor configuration to stick properly for goodness's sake!

Ah the 8800GTX, I bought that thing over four years ago and only replaced it a few months ago, when it finally gave out on me after four years of delivering mid to max settings at 1680x1050.

Perhaps it's more indicative of the particularly long console cycle than the quality of the card, but still, I get the feeling I won't be keeping my 560ti for so long.

Kadayi
09-07-2012, 08:59 AM
Perhaps it's more indicative of the particularly long console cycle than the quality of the card, but still, I get the feeling I won't be keeping my 560ti for so long.

I wouldn't bet against it lasting a while. Fundamentally console resolutions are going to stay the same for the next few years, because no ones going to be in a rush to push beyond present HD resolution TVs. Graphically the next Playstation and Xbox will be much more robust in terms of textures etc, but the step up won't be as significant as before. The real push is going to occur in the processing capabilities and the ability of the machines to handle more complexity.

alms
09-07-2012, 03:12 PM
because no ones going to be in a rush to push beyond present HD resolution TVs.

Don't forget about Apple, a TV set has been the subject of many speculations and with the current trend on 'retinizing' everything, why not TVs?

Plus Apple is currently a big, big fish in the gaming industry because of the success of its mobile devices, they're making more money on that alone than the console players, some industry insiders have been openly talking about them progressively replacing consoles in the living room.

There's nothing solid right now though, so we'll just have to wait and see how this thing will play out.

Fumarole
10-07-2012, 01:16 AM
If you're still trying to squeeze the price down a bit, I'd say go with the 128GB version of that SSD instead of 256. You'll be hard pressed to fill 128GB, let alone 256.I disagree. I have the 128 and this is what fills it up (except for 14GB):

Frozen Synapse
Sword of the Stars
DoW2: Retribution
World in Conflict: Soviet Assault
Magicka
Deus Ex: HR
Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Shogun 2

At this point I'm needing more space for games (not data, I have 500 GB for that). The loading speed of the SSD means you'd be crazy not to install Steam onto it.

FriendlyFire
10-07-2012, 02:33 AM
The advantages of fast disk read speeds are rather slim for games. At best you'll get some speed increase with loading times. It's certainly not worth filling your SSD with.

And if you think I'm wrong, I did tests with RAMdisks to push the idea to the extreme, and the difference really isn't worth it. Games are optimized to run on spinning disks (in fact, they're often optimized to run off slow as molasses console disks and DVD drives).

Off your list, Frozen Synapse, Warlock and Magicka don't need the speed at all as they already load fast and/or don't need to load often. World in Conflict also doesn't really need to load much once a game has started.

I can give you Deus Ex and Shogun 2, since those load stuff often. However, what's wrong with moving stuff back and forth? I've moved Deus Ex off my SSD once I was done playing it.

Fumarole
10-07-2012, 05:28 AM
I can give you Deus Ex and Shogun 2, since those load stuff often. However, what's wrong with moving stuff back and forth? I've moved Deus Ex off my SSD once I was done playing it.Nothing's wrong with moving the data other than that I'm too lazy to do so, but maybe that's just me; I uninstall a game if I'm not planning on playing it. I just wanted to get another opinion out there as when I bought my SSD I figured 128 would be more than sufficient, but with games today hitting 20+ gigs it can be surprisingly small.

FriendlyFire
10-07-2012, 05:56 AM
Personally, I'd rather have more money (to buy games with!) and a smaller SSD ;)

Still get the benefits of an SSD (faster boot times, faster OS response time, faster core applications, faster game or two) without quite the smoking hole in your pocket large SSDs tend to make. I have a laptop with nothing but an SSD and while it can sometimes feel a bit cramped, I get along fine.

If you haven't used it yet, Vista introduced symlinks to Windows (a long overdue feature that Linux has had forever) with the command line "mklink" program, which are just awesome for moving programs and games around without them complaining they're not where they were installed.

laneford
11-07-2012, 05:05 PM
Ok I just ordered it. Eeek.

Thank you very very much for all your help everyone!

I'll be back when I put it together and it won't turn on...

Finicky
15-07-2012, 06:42 PM
Yeh you really, really, don't want to skimp out on the PSU. I's not as glamorous as your GPU or processor but if you fall into the trap of getting a cheap PSU, like I have, you can run into all sorts of reliability issues in a couple of years (especially if you upgrade to a hungry graphics card). I have a non-modular Corsair right now and all the cables come braided together which is really nice if you don't want to get a modular one.
This comment has to be taken with a serious grain of salt.
The biggest hardware scam of last year was the whole 'you can't skimp on a psu' thing being taken out of context with shills and stores trying to push expensive PSU's.

Something like a 40 euro antec earthwatts 550W psu is plenty reliable ( and plenty powerful for your average non SLI gaming pc.)
I've seen way too many builds with misinformed people spending 100 euros (often like 15-20 percent of their budget) on some pseudo fancy psu made for 'gamers'.
Those things are as much a scam as gold plated hdmi cables and gaming keyboards.

You obviously shouldn't buy some no name budget part or something from medion since you want something that has actually seen some QC testing, but that goes for everything you buy ever.

Wolfenswan
16-07-2012, 10:52 PM
Ok I just ordered it. Eeek.

Thank you very very much for all your help everyone!

I'll be back when I put it together and it won't turn on...

mind updating your OP with what you ultimately bought?

laneford
25-07-2012, 09:25 PM
Ok right. So after an initial setback or two (ebuyer.com refused to believe my billing address exists, possibly that I exist, and thus refused to sell me the thing) I finally bought it, put it together, and lo! It works (first time and everything)

Only found two minor drawbacks.

1) Forgetting my old DVD drive was IDE only, and that my motherboard was definitely NOT IDE friendly.

Solution: Last minute dash to maplin to buy a DVD drive (required for the installing of windows and bugger all else)

2) In my haste of buying from someone other than ebuyer to get it delivered before I go on holiday, accidentally ordering the 32 bit version of windows 7.

Look I came from win XP ok? I know nothing of bits.

So yeah. I'm stuck with 32bit windows using a whopping 3.9gb of my 16gb of RAM.

Unless...

What do you guys think about using the release preview of Win 8? I assume that'll let me install 64bit windows?

I'd really prefer not to spend another 60/70 to upgrade from 32bit to 64bit (as I believe your product key is tied to your bit of windows? please correct me if this is not the case)

All thoughts welcome! (please. Save me. Help!)

Wolfenswan
25-07-2012, 10:31 PM
You could always try something like this (http://www.raymond.cc/blog/make-windows-7-and-vista-32-bit-x86-support-more-than-4gb-memory/) or this (http://prasys.info/2012/05/enabling-more-than-4gb-ram-on-windows-7-32-bit/).

Google tells me you can use your 32 bit key for 64 bit as well btw.

laneford
25-07-2012, 10:42 PM
Google tells me you can use your 32 bit key for 64 bit as well btw.

Really? I heard elsewhere... I'll investigate.

Cheers for the links as well sir.

Fumarole
25-07-2012, 11:02 PM
My PC doesn't have a dedicated optical drive, as I encountered the same thing you did with my board not supporting IDE. That said, I do have a USB optical drive for installing Windows and such, which I find fits my needs while reducing cable clutter inside my case.

Sakkura
25-07-2012, 11:07 PM
Really? I heard elsewhere... I'll investigate.

Cheers for the links as well sir.
If you bought full retail, you get both 32-bit and 64-bit. If you bought OEM you get only the version you picked, and you're breaking the license agreement.

laneford
25-07-2012, 11:37 PM
I... may have done that...