Comprehensive Gaming PC Guide Discussion - IV

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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liked and requested stickies on nearly all versions of this.

i5 3570k, 8gb 1600, asrock z77 in the mail. to be paired with gtx470. enjoy group play, some raiding and some large pvp. is it worth upgrading the gtx470? i think it's a pretty darn strong card for this game, and sits above the recommended time to upgrade. the cpu etc. on the way will be solving the (current) core 2 quad bottleneck.

Thanks for your support!

GTX 470 is still a very capable card, but it does have the usual pitfalls of the initial Fermi cards: Namely, heat and power consumption. If neither of these downfalls matter to you at all, and you are satisfied with the GTX 470 performance, why upgrade? ;)
no prob, just makin sure. yeah guess they were properly labeled the 'fermi' series. more or less wanted a reality check from someone who looks at this more than i do. really satisfied with the life i've gotten from this card.
Questing, 5 mans, raids (10 man, though I suppose LFR will be unavoidable for a little while). I PVP very, very rarely.
Then for your budget,

Is the best choice indeed.

You may have to dial down graphics details for raids
Thanks :D
Well, I read and re-read through your guide, went to newegg and ordered up a bunch of parts based on your recommendations and now it's all in the mail. I'm pretty damn excited!

I had it all perfectly within budget (basically halfway between the <1k build and the budget build and then I realized I needed and os since I'm coming from Mac so I had to find $100 in the budget somewhere. I decided to drop the processor to the i3 from the best build on a budget build which let me get windows 7. Hopefully that was the right choice as opposed to dropping the gpu.

Either way, thanks a lot for the advice and the great thread (I can't believe it's not stickies and your posts aren't green?!?!)

I'll be back to ask for some help if I get stuck on the build!
I've been looking over the prices of mid-high end cards for a few weeks now. Before the 7950 I was sure that I wanted the Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce, but now that would end up costing about ~$70 more than an equivalent 7950.

There are some things that are keeping me from taking the plunge with AMD after 5 years with nVidia: things like driver issues, even though people say they're rare I still wonder, extra heat from a larger chip which might lead to more noise, and performance in games like WoW (1080p).

I'm not into extreme overclocks, but just high enough that it has large gains while not forgoing things like fan noise/heat. I am very particular about noise and I'm not sure how much more heat or power an OC'ed 7950 (1050-1100Mhz) would use versus the Gigabyte 670. I've narrowed it down to three cards basically:

The Vapor-X seems to have an overall cooler running setup as well as more quiet fans compared to the Dual X, but it's relatively new, and although the reviews suggest it's a great card, I wonder about the Boost feature being a power hog. I'm curious about someone's opinion on this card in particular, because it's been the one I keep nearly biting at.

There's not much to be said about the Gigabyte GTX 670 other than it's rated really well at cooling/quietness/overclocking ability, but it costs a bit more than I'd like to spend so close to another set of GPUs. It's only $70, but if the performance for the most part is equal should I just save the money?

I'm not betting on a price drop from nVidia, but it would make the decision a lot simpler since I'm more familiar with them. Should I worry about switching to AMD or are they for the most part as solid as nVidia cards now (like I said it's been a while)?

Games I intend on playing: The Witcher 2, Darksiders II, Borderlands 1/2, Sleeping Dogs, maybe play around with hi res textures in Skyrim a bit

i5 2500k @ 4.5Ghz
EVGA 460 GTX SC @ 875core/2000mem
ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 1155 P67
G Skill Sniper 2x4GB ram
2 TB Mechanical Drives
128 GB Samsung 830 SSD
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W
I'm sure the power supply is enough, but I just want to make sure.

Again, thanks for reading over this, and any advice is greatly appreciated in advance.
AMD's driver issues mostly come with CrossFireX setups. If you are using a single GPU setup, it's not likely you will experience problems with AMD drivers.

If you will overclock, then HD 7950 is recommended. GTX 670 needs to be pushed to maximum it is capable of to match GTX 680 / HD 7970, while HD 7950 can do it with some room left over for bit more OC.

Vapor-X is a great cooler, and Sapphire is a premier Radeon builder (like EVGA is for nVidia). You can't go wrong with it. Boost only kicks in when it needs to be.

Yes, you should save the money, and especially considering you will OC, the HD 7950 is a way better deal than a GTX 670.
Cool, thanks, that's what I figured. I just wanted someone that had an unbiased opinion to tell me their thoughts.

Small question: what are some really good quiet case fans?
Awesome guide and great contribution from everyone. I learned tons reading this thread and am excited about building my first computer!

Here is my build so far-
Specifics: CPU- Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor $113.49
Motherboard- ASRock B75M Micro ATX Motherboard @ $65
Hard Drive- Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $69.99
Video Card- MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card $134.99**
Case- Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case $49.49
Power Supply- Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply $59.99
Optical Drive- Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer $17.99
Operating System- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) $89.98

Being a noobie, I have a few questions. What's the difference between the video card listed and ? The tigerdirect is $25 cheaper and seems to be the same?

What's the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit windows? And what can I expect from this rig?

I'm heading to Fry's today to look for a mouse, keyboard, and RAM (they have a special running). Thanks for reading!
Because i3-2120 outperforms FX-4100 in CPU-bound games like WoW and SC2



The Tigerdirect version does seem cheaper. You want to get as cheap as possible with HD 7770, or its value becomes bad vs. HD 6870 / GTX 560.

64-bit OS allows you to use more than ~3GB of system RAM, and you can also use 64-bit version of WoW client, which usually gives performance boost over 32-bit version.

Rig should run most games at high / max settings with good FPS, except demanding 3D games.
Thanks Kalgan. Upvoted the thread. They need to MVP your !@#.

Ivy Bridge i3s and Pentiums are out, bit earlier than expected. Currently, Ivy Bridge Pentiums are too expensive to justify their price vs. i3 CPUs.
Hey Kal

sorry for hogging space on this thread but I am really need help deciding between two monitors

Newegg has its labor day deal and is knocking off 30dollars off two monitors that has a lot of reviews

Monitor 1.

Monitor 2.

Difference between these 2 is 30dollars.

I am currently using an LG 20inch monitor
I believe its this one

I love the coloring and brightness on my current monitor but, I am in the market for a 2nd monitor
Is the Asus monitor so much better that the 30dollars can be overlooked?
I'm not Kalg but the ASUS has a slightly lower response time, which may or may not make a huge difference. Honestly though once you get to response times that low (<5ms) from what I hear it becomes something like horsepower where it really doesn't matter all that much. The ASUS also has a HDMI connector, while the Acer does not. The ASUS is also 0.6 in bigger.

If you don't have a need about the HDMI connector and don't really care about the size difference, then there's no need to go with the ASUS.
ASUS has LED backlighting. Acer one does not.

ASUS is slightly larger (negligible).

ASUS has better response rate (negligible).

ASUS comes with HDMI connectivity (may be useful depending on your use of the monitor).

So the key point of ASUS over Acer is the LED backlighting. People will tell you to get one that has the LED backlighting because it's better than old CCFL variety.
Just curious Kalg, what do you think of AOC monitors like this one? It's what I ended up going with because my Dad didn't want to order anything online and everything ASUS was sold out at Bestbuy and Nebraska Furniture Mart.
It's not bad for the price, although it does have rather slow response rate (typical pitfalls of e-IPS panels without compensation technology).

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