How is my build?

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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nVidia and AMD does not produce their own card because that means they will lose partners who build using their chips. Why would the partner companies build cards for them when they have to compete with AMD / nVidia?

I'm not sure if I understand you completely here. If AMD/Nvidia built their own cards, wouldn't that not really matter for them as they are really the only two companies that produce GPUs at all? It's not like people would stop buying them - as they are the only options. They wouldn't need ASUS and those other partners. And I doubt ASUS would start designing GPUs to compete with them.

There's definitely a core part of the supply chain here that I'm missing. I'm just curious :P
Oh, you are right in that way -- back then, there were more GPU vendors. I forgot about that crucial part. There were: ATI, nVidia, Matrox, S3, Rendition, Intel (yes, Intel), 3dfx, etc. etc...

Yeah, I suppose the supply won't stop, but there'll be a lot of damaged relations if nVidia / AMD pushed that now. That's not good when many tech companies are intertwined in one way or another today.
Is there any problem with purchasing this Windows 7 Home Premium from Newegg? Is there a problem with OEM?

There is no problem with OEM.
Also Kalganized, that cheaper MB you linked - it doesn't have a PCIe 3.0 slot to use the 7950 with?
PCI-E slots are backwards compatible. 3.0 cards will run fine on 2.1 slots with no loss of performance because no cards right now can even break 2.1 16x max bandwidth anyway
Ah - I see

Just out of curiosity then, what parts actually can take advantage of that slot? I'm just wondering why it's there if video cards don't really take advantage of it.
None right now, maybe Radeon 7990 / GeForce 695 dual-GPU setups can.
Just for my future reference, what are the best sites to look at for benchmarks/performance test with games (including WoW, etc)? Both CPU and GPU.
Also - just thought of something.

I currently have a mac laptop that also the Windows 7 installed as a secondary OS. I don't use that laptop often (but it's necessary for me to keep, otherwise I would sell it, lol) However, when I do use it I RARELY use the windows OS. So much so I've been considering removing it - the laptop has a small hard drive and the partition/second OS takes up too much space as is.

If I removed the windows OS or just stopped using it, can I use the same copy of Windows 7 to install on a new PC if I get it? That will save me the $100 or so. Or is it not possible because I've already used the key?
Yes, you can re-use the key -- especially so if it's retail.

If it's OEM key, you may be asked to reauthenticate by calling Microsoft. Do so, tell them you got a new PC built. They should give you a new key.
That's good news :).

I'm back home for the weekend and want to check out my old desktop that I had been using for 3-4 years or so to play games. Though it would be interesting to find out what I was running with (as I couldn't remember at all).

Here's what I could find:

System: Dell XPS 730 - Dimensions: 23.4" x 8.6" 21.9"

OS: Windows 7 32 Bit OS

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80569Q9450 - No Overclocking

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Power Supply: Dell U662D Universal 1000W Power Supply

Motherboard: Dell UU795 Motherboard (couldn't find more info on this)

RAM: Memory Type: DDR3 PC3-8500, DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 (non-ECC)
Currently Installed Memory: 4GB
Total Memory Slots: 4 - Available Memory Slots: 0

Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 470 1280 MB (PNY)
I can't believe I had a 1000W power supply for all these years, lol. And I guess I had two DIFFERENT types/speeds of ram o.O? 1GB in each slot?

I just tried booting up WoW on it and maxed out all the settings. Runs at around 38-41 FPS in SW near the AH (though my server is very low pop). I have two monitors plugged into the video card. Usually WoW is running on the one with 2048 x 1152 resolution, but the other is 1680x1050. I believe this PC came with 2 NVIDIA 6600 GT in SLI - they both overheated which is why I now have the GTX 470 in there. Though it seems like the GTX 470 overheats every so often - case must have bad airflow.

What kind of performance boost can I expect over this with the new build?

Just as a reminder: here is my planned build

Case: HAF 912
Windows 7 HP 64 Bit OS
Intel Core i5-3570k overclocked
Crucial 128gb SSD
CM Hyper 212 Evo
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 (tentative)
Corsair Ven. 2x4GBRAM
CORSAIR Gaming Series GS600 600W
AMD 7950 (tentative)

Any other comments on that old PC I was using would be interesting. I don't have it with me in college because it is simply too heavy to bring, so I gave it to my parents. That's partly why I'm going to be building the new PC where I live.

Thanks :).
Noticeable upgrade, for sure.
Any thoughts on this case?

I know you like (perhaps love) the HAF 912 :). I like it too. However I don't mind dropping extra $$ on a full even if I don't need the extra space. With that said, I want to try one more time to squeeze a recommendation for a full tower case out of you.

Are there are full tower cases in particular that you like?

My priorities are:

Good cable management space
Tool-less drive bays (including 2.5'') - or whatever makes things easiest to install (because I'm first time)
Airflow, ofc :).
If you can spare extra $ on a case without sacrificing any other parts, go for it.

I actually thought about buying Phantom too for my own build a year or so ago, but went with HAF 932 Advanced instead, since it could support Corsair H100.

The SSD bay, good cable management, and tool-less bays were a plus.

Of course, great airflow.
h77, z75, z77 good choice
I may purchase the new PC soon/within the next few days. Now that my sister has no laptop I'm considering shipping my old/current desktop to her rather having her buy a new one. I was going to get rid of my old desktop anyway, but I wasn't planning to build a for a couple months because of Ivy Bridge. Nonetheless if I give up my desktop now I will have no PC to play games on (only a mac laptop that can't play any games - which I need) for awhile.

This isn't a done deal yet, might still keep my desktop for now. But if I were to build now, should I just go with the i5 2500k, or go with some a cheaper CPU (which one?) and upgrade to Ivy Bridge later? How much of a hassle is it to install a new CPU when an old one is already in place?
That is up to you. This close, I would just buy a $50 CPU then upgrade to Ivy Bridge. But if you don't want to bother with the hassle, go with i5-2500k.

It can be a hassle to install a new CPU:

You have to remove the CPU heatsink+fan, remove CPU, apply thermal paste on the new CPU then install it, clean the old gunk on the CPU heatsink+fan, then put the CPU heatsink+fan on.

Depending on how big you are, you may have to remove more stuff (like RAM / graphics card) to get a good access to it.
Ok - problem solved, will be able to wait for Ivy Bridge.

On a (semi) unrelated note:

Reading through some threads I often see you recommend HWmonitor to check CPU/GPU temp. I've had problems with overheating in my current desktop (had two old nvidia cards overheat and die) so I decided to check this out. My current card (Nvidia GTX 470) seems to overheat sometimes - or atleast I think that's what happens.

Sometimes (but rarely) WoW will crash and I get an error "Windows Kernel mode driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered."Would get it even after updating/reverting drivers. This is also the same message I got each time when my two older cards died. Unlike the others, the GTX 470 seems to recover after I get this error when I just restart my PC. I think my case just has bad airflow or something, even though I clean the dust out regularly.

CURRENT temps are (I had WoW running in the background, windowed mode but NOT minimized):

GPU: 80-83C

CPU: One core hit 52C while the others stayed at 35-45C.

Are these temperatures normal (if not, what is normal?)

I haven't seen a crash in awhile, but also haven't been using this PC much.
GTX 470 heats up pretty damn well, with GTX 480 being joked as "Thermi". GTX 460 used different, modified version of Fermi core, so they don't heat up as much.

CPU temperature is normal. I would look into lowering GPU temperature, although Thermi can handle higher temperature (GTX 480s can hit 90C+ easily).

Using MSI Afterburner will allow you to customize fan profile, so you can make the fan work harder on that GTX 470.

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