Another PC build list!

#1 Posted by DoctorSage (157 posts) -

This one's for me this time. I'm not particularly worried about price, more about quality of parts.

Cooler Master Haf 922

Intel 77 155 ATX

Intel i7-3770 3.40 GHz

Intel Liquid CPU Cooler

Corsair 16GB PC3-12800 RAM

Seagate 500GB HDD

DVDRW (doubt this matters)

StarTech All-in-One Card Reader

XFX 7859 2GB

GDDR5 Graphics Card

Corsair 750W PSU

Does this list check out? Have any of these parts exploded on you?

#2 Posted by Threlnos (8 posts) -

Looks fine but I have one question for you if money isn't really a concern then what lead you to a Intel Liquid CPU Cooler and the Intel 7 155 ATX Mobo?

#3 Posted by DoctorSage (157 posts) -

@threlnos: I've got a $1200~1500 budget. It was less "I have all the money in the world" and "Yeah, I know this is a bit expensive, but it's a gift"

#4 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

Don't waste your money on that cooler. It offers zero benefit beyond a normal air cooler at stock speeds, and so little at massively overclocked speeds that it is eclipsed by other closed loop solutions, all of which still fall short to traditional full water cooling rigs. If you plan on only doing a small amount of overclocking (or none at all), any aftermarket air cooler will do the job. If you plan on doing serious speed boosts, you need something better.

The rest of it checks out, but you didn't provide a hell of a lot of information. What are you trying to do with this system? Gaming at what resolution? With which games? What kind of performance do you hope to get at that resolution?

Links to parts with a beefier description of the workload you expect would go a long way.

#5 Edited by Varren (4 posts) -

This is so bad I created an account to post. I build custom computers, you have all the money in the wrong spots.

This was the last PC I built, and it will outperform that abomination you call a computer on every level.

1

MSI Radeon HD 7970 Twin Frozr OC Boost Edition R7970 TF 3GD5/OC BE Video Card

Item #:N82E16814127732

Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy

$429.99
$409.99
1

AMD Gift FARCRY3 Blood Dragon CRYSIS3 BIOSHOCK

Item #:N82E16800995145

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$119.99
1

Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Item #:N82E16822136792

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$169.99
$159.99
1

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

Item #:N82E16835103099

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$37.99
$29.99
1

COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AB-GP Blue LED Case cooler

Item #:N82E16835103073

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$22.99
$19.99
1

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS

Item #:N82E16827135204

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$19.99
1

AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ Eight-Core Desktop Processor

Item #:N82E16819113284

Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

$199.99
1

ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX/GEN3 R2.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Item #:N82E16813131969

Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

$199.99
1

CORSAIR CX750M 750W Power Supply

Item #:N82E16817139051

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$99.99
2

COOLER MASTER R4-L2R-20AC-GP Blue LED Case cooler

Item #:N82E16835103060

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$19.98
$17.98
1

Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory

Item #:N82E16820226382

Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

$139.99
1

COOLER MASTER HAF X Blue Edition RC-942-KKN3 ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Item #:N82E16811119239

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$219.99
$209.99
1

BitFenix Recon Fan Controller

Item #:N82E16811997078

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$39.99
Grand Total:$1,547.87

Please do more research, you'll regret a build like that later.

(SORRY FOR LIST FORMATTING COPIED FROM CART.)

#6 Edited by Mirado (993 posts) -

@varren: You mention the word "outperform" and then post a build with an AMD processor. What exactly is that going to outperform?

The 8350 gets smacked around by the 3570k, let alone the 3770k. The poor single threaded performance of the 8350 is not balanced out by it's multi-core abilities as even those lag behind the Ivy Bridge series especially when it comes to gaming. The money you would save by going the AMD route ($150 or so on the CPU) is more or less balanced out by the $200 motherboard you chose. While a 7970 is a far better GPU than what he chose, his needs remained to be explained. If doesn't need that kind of muscle, then it will more or less go to waste.

I wouldn't recommend AMD CPUs for anything at this point. Their niche was price/performance, which they've totally lost out on since the performance is just not there anymore, at practically any price bracket. While Vishera (and Piledriver as a whole) isn't the trainwreck that Bulldozer was top to bottom, it still isn't good enough. I maintain that a single dollar spent on AMD CPUs is a dollar wasted.

#7 Edited by Varren (4 posts) -

@mirado:

Your free to take that opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree. Does Intel outperform AMD, yes but only by the slightest margins, and at 2x-4x the cost (depending which model you go for). To say that the 8350 gets "smacked around" is laughable. Price versus performance AMD wins everytime. I implore you to show a trusted benchmark that shows anything more than 5-10% increase in performance vs AMD.

And even you can, you honestly think its worth the price tag?

#8 Edited by DoctorSage (157 posts) -

@varren, could you elaborate on what makes my parts so bad? Again, I have no idea what I'm doing.

@mirado said:

The rest of it checks out, but you didn't provide a hell of a lot of information. What are you trying to do with this system? Gaming at what resolution? With which games? What kind of performance do you hope to get at that resolution?

Links to parts with a beefier description of the workload you expect would go a long way.

Excellent point! I am an idiot for leaving that out.

I'm pretty new to this, but I'm hoping to play in 1920 by 1080. I want a machine that can play most anything at 60 FPS on decent to high settings.

#9 Posted by Andorski (5268 posts) -

Here's Tomshardware review and Hardware Canuck's review of the FX-8350. For gaming this CPU loses against the i5-3570k on most games at 1080p (particularly Skyrim where the AMD chip seems to oddly bottleneck the whole system). The FX-8350 is $40 cheaper and is incredible for CPU intensive applications used for photo/video editing and 3D rendering, but the i5-3570k has a lower power consumption, runs cooler, and has a larger selection of compatible motherboards. If OP was asking for an all in one workstation and gaming rig, the FX-8350 would be a reasonable choice. For a first timer asking for just a gaming rig, I don't see how someone would recommend that over Intel's i5-3570k. The $40 you save by going with AMD is such a small piece of the overall budget. It's almost insignificant.

Currently making my own build to suggest to @doctorsage. Will be done in a few minutes.

#10 Posted by Andorski (5268 posts) -

Here's my build suggestion:

Price breakdown by merchant
Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition 89.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($94.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 350D Window ATX Mid Tower Case ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($116.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1355.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-19 13:02 EDT-0400)

Okay, now for the explanation for why I went with each part...

CPU: As I posted earlier, the i5-3570k is great for gaming PCs at a decent price.

CPU Cooler: This CPU is a little pricey for it's size, but the cooling is more than adequate at stock CPU speeds, is quiet, and looks great in black.

Motherboard: Gigabyte makes great motherboards. I personally would up my price range a bit and go with an Asus ROG mATX board, but that is just personal preference as I like their UEFI BIOS. Gigabyte boards are very popular and thus have a lot of great guides on how to troubleshoot the board or overclock the CPU. Why go with a mATX instead of the standard ATX? My choice to go smaller is due to the case I picked. In terms of features and performance mATX do just as well as their ATX counterparts. The advantage of ATX boards is having more PCI-e slots (mainly used for video cards). As a first time builder, I doubt you are going to slap 3 GPUs in your rig in SLI/Crossfire, so mATX's 2 PCI-e slots is the perfect amount. With 2 PCI-e slot you can go dual video card later down the road as a mid-PC cycle upgrade if you choose to do so.

Memory: No real thought into this. They have high customer feedback rating on Newegg and are decently priced. Went with DDR3-1866 instead of the usual DDR3-1600 solely because it's only $5 more expensive. Some people would recommend going with 16GB of RAM, but games currently do not go over 8GB. You get zero benefit of having more than 8GB until RAM usage goes over 8GB. Also, RAM prices have increased over the past 6 months (rumored to be due to manufacturing issues). If you want more RAM down the line you should just wait for prices to cycle back down.

Storage: Went with a Samsung SSD because they are highly regarded for their reliability. At that price too this SSD is hard to beat. As for the second HDD, I went with the Seagate due to it's price:storage ratio. People will argue that you should go with a Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB instead. Those drives come with a longer warranty (which implies smaller chance of drive failure), but at the current price they go for I could not recommend it over the Seagate Barracuda drive. If 2TB of storage is too much and you want the peace of mind of having a better quality HDD, then you can go with a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black at an equivalent price.

Video Card: Went with AMD instead of the nVidia equivalent due to the price (about ~$50 cheaper). Personally, I would go with the nVidia card though. They run cooler and nVidia has better driver support. Also, if you ever plan on adding a second GPU, nVidia's SLI setups perform much better than AMD's Crossfire. Last I heard AMD's crossfire is supposedly getting a driver patch that will significantly boost performance and remove a lot of the issues that currently plague AMD multi-card setups. Though until those drivers get released and there is enough data to evaluate Crossfire's performance, I would stick with nVidia.

Case: This case is not actually out yet (set to be released May 30th), but I had to recommend it because it's beautiful. Corsair's Obsidian series are a great line of PC cases. The 350D has ample room for all your hardware and will have no trouble keeping your components cool. The case is also large enough for easy cable management. Also, the side window is a great plus!

Case Fan: The Obsidian 350D already comes with a 140mm and 120mm Corsair AF fans, so I went with the same fans to keep everything consistent. The Quiet Edition fans will keep your PC relatively silent and do a decent job of moving air through your case

Power Supply: Seasonic have a great reputation for building quality PSU's. Since I only recommended with going with one GPU, the 650W version of this PSU is more than enough to power your system. If you think that you are going to go with a dual GPU setup later on, you might want to consider the more expensive 750W version of this PSU.

Optical Drive: It's cheap.

Operating System: Windows 8 gets such polarized reactions, but the fact is that Windows 8 is a better performing OS. It's faster, has better Windows Explorer functionality, and built in internet security. Hate the Start Menu Screen? Download Classic Shell and enjoy the improvements of Windows 8 with the UI of Windows 7 that is more customizable.

#11 Posted by DoctorSage (157 posts) -

@andorski Hmm, lots of things to consider. So Windows 8 is definitely faster? I come from a Mac household, and I hear a lot of negative things.

It's also worth stating that I'm not particularly worried about price, my concerns are more about performance. Hence the i7 and 16 GB ram.

#12 Edited by McTangle (157 posts) -

Beware ATI/AMD graphics cards, crappy driver support can leave you without a paddle, and all the marginal performance increases in the world won't help you then. I'd recommend playing it safe with an Nvidia card such as this as it's reasonably priced and offers pretty great performance (an equivalent AMD card will only give you ~10% more power without PhysX, which is a nice touch on Nvidia cards)

#13 Posted by McTangle (157 posts) -

Beware ATI/AMD graphics cards, crappy driver support can leave you without a paddle, and all the marginal performance increases in the world won't help you then. I'd recommend playing it safe with an Nvidia card such as this as it's reasonably priced and offers pretty great performance (an equivalent AMD card will only give you ~10% more power without PhysX, which is a nice touch on Nvidia cards)

#14 Edited by Andorski (5268 posts) -

@doctorsage: While price might not be a priority, everyone has a budget limit. One can build an ungodly machine with an i7, 4 GTX titans in SLI, 1500W PSU, a 1TB SSD, and all the other fixings. It's just going to cost >$6000. The best way to configure the right build is to figure out the exact price point in which you will say, "this is too expensive." From their finding all the components you want is relatively easy.

So for some alterations on the build I suggested:

i5 vs. i7: An i7 processor will barely give you an FPS increase for $80 more. The smart thing to do is go with an i5 and to put that extra $80 on getting a better GPU. A single GPU setup will be the bottleneck in gaming. Games do not tax the CPU as often as the GPU.

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8: Windows 8 is quite literally a service package-level improvement of Windows 7 with the stupid Start Screen. I personally don't mind the Start Menu, and the people who do have a lot of ways to get back the Windows 7 Start Button (Classic Shell, Start8, etc.).

8GB RAM vs. 16GB RAM: Due to the increase in RAM prices within the last few months, going from 8GB to 16GB will double the cost. Paying another $60-70 isn't the worst thing to put money in. Again, this is where you need to figure out the overall price limit you are willing to go with. Personally, I would upgrade the GPU to a AMD HD7970 GHz Edition/nVidia GTX 680 before considering a RAM increase.

Also, I forgot to mention this in my build post. Rumor - though while not confirmed seems extremely likely - has is that nVidia is coming out with the GTX 770 and GTX 780 by the end of the month. It's all speculation on price and performance, although the specs are all but confirmed; still, real world performance is the only true way to rate a GPU's power. It's believed that the GTX 770 will have a 5-10% increase in performance compared to the GTX 680 at a price range around $450-500. The GTX 780 will have a 20-30% increase and will probably retail around $600-700.

Lastly, Intel is going to release their Haswell line CPU's in June. Since you are a first time builder, I would probably stick with the current Ivy Bridge (aka i5-3570k). The improved performance of Haswell will be insignificant with gaming. Also, the new Haswell Z87 motherboards will likely end up with a couple of issues that will be fixed within 3-6 months after its release. Not that big of a problem, but sticking with Ivy Bridge motherboards that have been out for a while and have had the time to be properly updated will give you one less thing to worry about when building your rig. What you could do though is wait for Haswell to release. Ivy Bridge CPUs and Z77 motherboards will all get price drops when Haswell and Z87 motherboards come out.

#15 Posted by Jackhole (370 posts) -

This is my build, I think it's pretty solid.

CPU: Intel i5-3570K

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

Motherboard: Gigabyte UD3H

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM

SSD: Samsung 840 Series 120GB (you might want to go with the Pro, it has better write speeds)

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Edition 3GB Vapor-X

PSU: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Certified

Optical Drive: Lite-On DVD/CD Writer

OS: Windows 8 OEM 64-bit

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl

Cost = ~$1400 (My total was about $1200, I built it over the course of a month searching for deals)

Online
#16 Edited by Vestigial_Man (311 posts) -

@doctorsage: Spend more on the graphics card, the 7850 is fine but if you're spending $1500 you should at least get a card from this generation like the AMD 7950 (or probably even better).

#17 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

@varren said:

@mirado:

Your free to take that opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree. Does Intel outperform AMD, yes but only by the slightest margins, and at 2x-4x the cost (depending which model you go for). To say that the 8350 gets "smacked around" is laughable. Price versus performance AMD wins everytime. I implore you to show a trusted benchmark that shows anything more than 5-10% increase in performance vs AMD.

Certainly.

This benchmark shows that, at 1920x1080, the 8350 cannot even keep Skyrim from dipping below 60 FPS @4Ghz, where the 3570k (not even the 3770k), provides 33% more performance, keeping it far above 60FPS at all times. In Shogun 2, even overclocking the 8350 to 4.8Ghz cannot match the base 3570k, which provides 35% more performance at stock speeds vs the 8350 at stock.

I'd pull more but we'd be splitting hairs over methodology and real world impact. I maintain my point; Piledriver's perforamnce is very workload dependent and is unsuitable for a general gaming rig. In fact, it's unsuitable in most respects. The configuation you provided (Sabertooth motherboard and the 8350) is only $50 cheaper than a standard motherboard ($100 or so) and a 3770k, and as the 3550k does just as well as its bigger brother in gaming, you stand to erase the price difference by going that route. Taking the motherboard out of the equation, it's only $20 more on newegg than the 8350. Even if you can come up with benchmarks that show in average daily usage, the Intel CPU will only provide 5-10% more performance, it's not the vast gap in price that you make it out to be.

So, where was the 2x-4x the cost again? I certainly don't see it.

#18 Posted by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

Lots of good (and conflicting) advice in here already, so I'm just gonna chime in real quick. If gaming is your priority, spend heavier on the GPU, always. You'll severely regret going with an i7 and 7850 vs. an i5 and 7950/GTX 670 when it actually comes time to play games. 8GB of RAM is absolutely plenty for a gaming machine too, and you'll probably never max it out. As for the CPU, just go Intel. For your use case (and I'm gonna say most people's as well), it's just better, simple as that, not to mention the 3570K is only $10 more than the 8350 (Amazon). The most you should be spending on a cooler is the Hyper 212 and that's it. Windows 8, dunno, never upgraded from 7, but yeah whatever, it's the new one and it's fine.

And Andorski makes good points about waiting on Haswell and Nvidia's 700 series, if you can manage. At the very least, it'll drive the prices of current stuff down a bit, and at the most you could snag a brand spankin' new GPU for perhaps around the same price as they're selling now.

#19 Edited by Jackhole (370 posts) -
Online
#20 Posted by coaxmetal (1605 posts) -

Isn't haswell dropping in a few months? I'd probably wait for that.

#21 Edited by Varren (4 posts) -

I will tentatively agree with most of the responses here, but I find that the benchmarks provided show games poorly optimized for AMD chipsets, the problems with Skyrim are Skyrim's problem, not AMD. And either way your paying more for less with Intel even if it is "good enough".

AMD Vishera 8350 8-core 4.0 GHz $200

Intel Core i5-3750K Quad-core 3.4GHz $220

@doctorsage

Its a price versus performance equation, you spend less on the processor or other parts, and you can upgrade your graphics solution, which as a gamer I assume is your principle motivation.

I'm running an 8350 with a ATI 7970 and I can play Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider 2013, Starcraft 2, and every other game I throw at it, all on Maximum Settings.

I rarely go below 60fps on anything.

Your choice, do some research, read up on the points listed here, and make an informed decision.

As for the Intel vs AMD debate, lets leave it here we all have our opinions, but really this thread is to help doctorsage.

Have a good day.

#22 Posted by DoctorSage (157 posts) -

Thanks for all the help, guys. What I'm taking away from this thread is my cash should go towards the graphics card and motherboard above everything else? Does that seem to be the closest thing to a general consensus?

#23 Edited by EXTomar (4670 posts) -

You've got the right lesson then. :) Make a budget and stick to it where most of your money is going to go into graphics and mobo-cpu. I never recommend skimping on any of those components. Did you plan to reuse or have you included the case or monitor? They aren't that expensive but I've seen budgets busted because they forgot to include these fundamental parts.

As a side suggestion, I would recommend staying away form AMD if this is your first machine. If you had experience with building machines but otherwise I would stay with Intel for your first system.

#24 Posted by markini6 (445 posts) -

Also, the nvidia 780 is supposed to be released this Thursday (23rd) and the 770 a week later. Whilst availability of these two cards might not be great, it should have a knock on effect on the 680 and 670. In terms of bang for buck concerning graphics cards, AMD wins most of the time, but people (not me) seem to prefer nvidia's drivers and as mentioned the prices for the 670 or 680 could come down to quite a nice sweet spot.

#25 Edited by Korwin (2845 posts) -

@varren said:

I will tentatively agree with most of the responses here, but I find that the benchmarks provided show games poorly optimized for AMD chipsets, the problems with Skyrim are Skyrim's problem, not AMD. And either way your paying more for less with Intel even if it is "good enough".

AMD Vishera 8350 8-core 4.0 GHz $200

Intel Core i5-3750K Quad-core 3.4GHz $220

The only way really to optimize for an AMD CPU is to focus heavily on hardcore multi threaded work, at their core they are still entirely reliant on the x86_64 instruction set which they license from Intel. In real world performance it's impossible to ignore the enormous gap in IPC between Intel's architecture and AMD's. Fortunately there is some hope in site with the launch of new consoles, one those things are on the market properly multi threaded game engines will become the new norm which should help close the gap a little.

Paying $20 more for a 3750K isn't even close to "less" for more, that CPU will run circles around the 8350 and with half the power consumption (high default clocks does not equal better, not now later or ever). Personally I would love to see AMD make a triumphant comeback to it's glory days (I personally used AMD CPU's from the original Athlon through to Socket 939 with the 3200+ X2), however they have been so hopelessly behind since the launch of the Core architecture that it's getting hard to see a way back at this point.

#26 Posted by Andorski (5268 posts) -

Thanks for all the help, guys. What I'm taking away from this thread is my cash should go towards the graphics card and motherboard above everything else? Does that seem to be the closest thing to a general consensus?

With motherboards you just want to get one that doesn't suck. Check to see if the board has a low failure rate and if there is a lot of community guides and how-to's for the board. Budget-wise, I don't see any point for the average user to spend more than $200. $150-175 is the sweet spot for quality boards.

It's the graphics card that you want to go balls to the wall with your budget. The second thing I would spend more money on is the SSD. 120GB is the minimum size you want to go with, but I find value in going up to 250GB. This gives you more room to have multiple games on your SSD. With Steam you can backup your games to a secondary HDD or use a third party program called Steam Tool to transfer game files onto the HDD, but having a larger SSD means that you won't have to spend as much time backing up/transfering your games between drives. Someone recommended going with the 840 Pro Series Samsung instead of the regular 840 Series. I wouldn't bother. The higher writing speeds isn't all that important. You aren't constantly writing onto the SSD while gaming.

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