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New Rig, New Questions

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by LemurHaloEcho, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Hi all,

    So, i've been contemplating building my own rig for a while now, and am finally getting my arse into gear about it! I'm not looking at anything expensive, or high-end (i5 / i7 builds), just a nice quad-core rig with tasteful power, potential for overclocking, and long-term fun really.

    Just as a forenote: I live in the UK, so i deal in £'s not $'s, and as such am excluded from purchases on everyone's favorite website NewEgg AFAIK.

    So far then, this is how the list looks:

    CPU: AMD FX-4170 BE
    Mobo: ASRock Extreme 3 970
    GPU: Radeon 7850?
    PSU: Corsair CX500M
    RAM: [Unsure]
    Case: Antec One (or better in the £40 - £50 range)
    HDD: Seagate or WD 1TB 7,200rpm

    So, there are a number of variables in the mix at the moment, however, i've got a few pressing questions for you all really, one of them being:

    Question 1: With a Case such as the Antec One which only comes with 2 Exhaust Fans, will i need a Fan Controller on the front I/O to install the remaining 2 or 3? Should i look for extra connections on a motherboard for more fans to be compatible with these cases?

    Best Answer to 1:
    Question 2: Are there any recommended power supplies out there for my sort-of build? I've been looking between the OCZ ModXStream 600w and ZS550w, but sadly OCZ's reviews are highly mixed, and i'm just losing my confidence in my ability to choose & designate which one to definitely go for? Suggestions perhaps? (1 for the 7770 Vapor X, 1 for the 7850 of unknown brand)

    Best Answer to Question 2:
    Question 3: Motherboards! Motherboards everywhere! - I'm currently reading in here and elsewhere about the ASRock 970 EXTREME3 being a fairly good mobo for the money for that 4170 BE, and currently the best deal i've found is £70.68 for it, but out of curiosity, could i do better for that kind of money? I'd really rather not step up the money TOO much more as the budget is looking at about £550 max atm.

    I know that as i think about this more, i'm going to have lots more questions, so please keep an eye on this first post as i'll just edit it each time a question is answered fully and put said answer in quotes :)

    Thanks people!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless you want to control the speed of the fans, no you don't need a fan controller. You can just hook them up to the motherboard or use an adapter to a 4 pin molex. The only thing you need to check for compatibility with your case is the size of the fan.
     
  3. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Disregard previous post; wasn't actually reading what i was looking at.

    That does pose a new question to me though, is there any way to have smart fans or something? Ones like on CPU Coolers or GPU Coolers that automatically adjust speed depending on ambient temperature?
     
  4. Jetster

    Jetster

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    There are fan controllers (like the one that comes with the Swiftech H220) That run off a 4 pin molex but have a 4 pin PWM that connects to the CPU fan header and control the speed of all your fans based off that temp
     
  5. xvi

    xvi

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    For fans, I'd just use what's built in to the motherboard. It'll monitor temps and adjust fans accordingly.
     
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  6. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    This cable will run all of your fans and allow automatic speed adjustment off of the motherboard 4 pin connector:

    http://www.evercool.com.tw/categories/global/cables/fancablesadapters/ec-df001/ec_df001.php

    *Note- cables have plenty of length to reach just about any fan position... the black braiding is also very nice (I've used this on a build of my own)

    On the motherboard- spring for the M5A97 Evo rather than the standard model. The Evo has better VRM/power (6+2) and has the necessary heatsinks for cooling the VRM circuitry (better for overclocking)

    EDIT- and consider a 7850 (1GB or 2GB) over a 7770....for a significant boost in GPU power for not much extra cash ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  7. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Well i've taken a look at the M5A97 Evo, and it's around £30 more in price than the standard R2.0, and in all honesty i can't justify the extra price right now, if i find one going cheap (£60?) then i might stump up the money for it, but when i stand a chance of getting the standard one by bidding on eBay for less than the usual BIN price, i'd rather go for that since my overclocking will be limited to about 4ghz at most, and even that'll be in the future as i haven't overclocked anything before anyway! :p

    As for the 7850 over the 7770, personally i feel that the vapor-x from sapphire in the range is not only the best of the 7770's but is also in the 7850's performance range too, with it's core clocks and memory clocks being about the same or even higher, the only thing the 7850's got more of is processing cores, but the most stressful game that i'll be playing with this rig is ArmA 2 & DayZ, and in the future, ArmA 3 possibly, so i'd rather keep the headroom from that PSU free for now as i know the vapor-x will retain it's price for future upgrades ;)
     
  8. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    You will need the better VRM and the extra cooling if you want 4Ghz out of a 965BE. The standard M5A97 will likely do the job but the board temps will run high.

    A 7850 will give you 40% or so more performance over a 7770 and can run as well as a Radeon 6970 or a GTX 570 (no 7770 will run in the range of a 7850). The reference boards (7770 and 7850) run very cool even with a mild overclock so just about any brand will be fine.

    I've run all of these components including the 7770, 7850 and 965BE as well as all of the other crap in my sig (all 24/7, overclocked, and at 100% load) so I speak from experience.

    It's your cash, I'm just saying imho it's worth the extra cost to bump those components up a bit :cool:
     
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  9. tokyoduong

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    You don't need a smart fan for your CPU cooler. Pretty much all new motherboards have built in temp reading and auto fan control. I haven't had a motherboard that doesn't have auto fan control.

    No I have high doubt you will need to run 2 exhaust fans for this computer. Have one in front and one in the back and you're good.

    You'll see fan pins on your motherboard and there's always one near the CPU socket. There should another one for system fan(some boards have more than 2). Some boards have more. Number of pins on them tells you what they can do. 4 pins uses PWM to control fan speed while 3 pins has to be controlled by voltage(sometimes no control or 100% permanent speed).

    The only people i know that uses an external fan controller are people that runs a lot of fans and/or an elaborate watercooling set up. Some people have a fan controller so they can control noise level and/or easy view of system temperatures.

    To respond to your comment about 7770 and 7850. It is true that core count is different. The real reason why 7770 cannot keep up with the 7850 has more to do with memory bandwidth. As resolution rise and details cranked up with MSAA, you are looking at massive bandwidth requirements. The 7770 runs on 128-bit while the 7850 is 256-bit. They both use GDDR5 and roughly the same speed so the 7800s should have close to twice the bandwidth of 7700s.

    For your set up, you only need a 400w psu. You want to have 500w to keep max load from exceeding 80% of PSU. 600W is not necessary unless you are trying to do max OC. With your budget constraints and minimum knowledge, you should not do massive OCs anyways.
     
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  10. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Well, thankyou for the info about the 7770 / 7850, if i do manage to spot a decent brand 7850 within the same price as that Vapor-X i'll be sure to keep an eye on it!

    Main thing i'd like to know actually is, atm the 7770 vapor-x i BELIEVE when i last looked required a 450w PSU minimum, but what would a 7850 require should i end up being able to get hold of one?
     
  11. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    Recommended psu is 500w for a 7850 but I don't think you will need anything more than a quaility 450w to run that card..... step up to 600w if you will eventually intend to put an FX 8 core cpu in the rig or if you want to go crossfire at some point (2x 7850's in crossfire can keep up with or beat a 7970 in games that work well in crossfire)
     
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  12. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Please refer to opening post for next set of questions :)
     
  13. tokyoduong

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    Hi, yes you are absolutely correct about the listed minimum requirement. When manufacturers list PSU requirements, they do it conservatively. They do not know what psu you are using and they are listing that rating to make sure that even a crappy psu will be enough to run the card. Many cheap PSU has high power ratings because they crank the amps on the 3V and 5V lines. Some has multiple 12V rails that does not even work well together. When looking for a PSU, look for the 12V rail amps rating. It will look something like "32A 12V". That means 32x12=384 watts. Now calculate what will be sucking juice from your 12 V rail. Most of it will come from your video card and cpu. Make sure you look at max draw or worst case scenario and still leave a 20% buffer so you don't ever overload your psu and burn it out.

    I am using a 430W PSU to power my computer(3570k + 7850). Even if I use a Seasonc 360W Gold PSU, it will still work) You can see it in my spec. I knew that my PSU will work because I read and understand the spec and requirements. Just read a few PSU reviews and you'll understand it. One website I like reading PSU reviews is johnnyguru or here at tpu.

    For PSU, look for Seasonic as the gold standard. Corsair uses Seasonic platforms and rebrands them. There are other good brands but the prices are very high. For you I suggest you look into buying a CX430 or CX500. If you have money for modular then move to TX series or HX. Main difference between TX and HX is bronze or gold rating. These are all Corsair(do not buy Corsair HX650 as it has a faulty fan).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  14. Kwod New Member

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    FWIW, I noticed that a Gigabyte 7870 2gig is virtually 100% faster compared to a 7770.
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/his_radeon_7950_x_iceq_review,18.html

    10 fps vs 20fps in Crysis3.

    I "had" a 6850{epic upgrade over 4850}, but now need to build another PC, and back in OZ, it's $250 for a Gigabyte 7870 vs $120 for a Saphire 7770 1 gig, but it's nearly twice as fast.

    7770 is about the same pace as my old and dead 6850, but the 6850 wasn't and doesn't cut it anymore IMO.
     
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  15. tokyoduong

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    Yes, but for budget minded people the sweet spot is 7850. It has close to the performance of the 7870 and comes clocked slower using the same chip. That means you can just bump the clock up and get performance on par with 7870. Of course the 7870 has a few more shaders.

    BTW, you should not be looking at unplayable frame rates. It is a bad reference for comparison.
     
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  16. d1nky

    d1nky

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    I had the 7770 and wasn't impressed at all, id recommend buying from dabs.com/overclockers.co.uk/ebuyer.co.uk and like people said the 7870 is a better choice.

    as for the board a few guys here aren't keen on the asus and digi vrms, as a beginner to overclocking asrock seems a better choice, and people here praise the extreme 3/4 for budget.

    and these guys will give you good advice on psu and requirements.
     
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  17. Kwod New Member

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    Probably, but at 1080 it's 30 vs 14....so drop a few detail settings and 7870 is playable at 1080, but 7770 will struggle.
    I hate the PC HW market lately, I want Titan smoothness and power for $699 but it's $1250AUD.
     
  18. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Some truely good advice there, but the problem is i'm not entirely sure what my components will draw, i'm still looking around between the Phenom II X4 965 BE, or the FX-4100, and i know they both have different power requirements. Plus if i went for the Phenom, i might in the future want to OC it to keep up with modern cpu's when games eventually fully utilise quad-cores, so that'll require extra power, but a 500w would more than likely provide all i'll need for that.. ATM my power requirements will be either a 7770 or 7850 depending on budget, one or two (at most) HDD's, a small SSD if i can find one in a sale, 4 Fans, either of those CPU's, and the normal stuff, front bezel equipment, disc-drive, etc. Do you think either of these will be up to the task?

    Corsair CX500
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Corsair-B...omputing_PowerSupplies_EH&hash=item2326f73957

    Corsair CX500M
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Corsair-C...omputing_PowerSupplies_EH&hash=item27ceb9bbcf

    Reason i'm looking at those two is because they're VERY close in price, and the modular might be a better choice for the money :)
     
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  19. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    So you mean something like this?

    ASRock 970 EXTRME3
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASRock-97...aptopMotherboards_CPUs_CA&hash=item2579cf6a6c
     
  20. tokyoduong

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    Lol i want all that for $300 or less.

    You can find the max power requirement by looking up reviews. TPU database have plenty of reviews for all these hardware. They always have idle, avg, load, and max power draw in these reviews. Go modular if you can afford it. It's just a lot easier to work on with modular and looks clean.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Phenom_II_X4_980/10.html
    In that chart, the closest is Phenom II 970. 78 watts for system at idle and 191 at load. 191-78 = 114 watts + ~10 watts idle= 124. I would guess that this chip should not pass 150W under almost any situation. When OC'd it could be anything since it is not linear and depends on leakage. You are probably limited by thermal when OC than power. Since you don't have a good cooler and case then you're definitely hitting the thermal wall first.

    Here's something to think about when you're on a budget. OC should only be free! If you have to pay more for certain parts like psu, motherboards, memory, etc... then you should just buy the better cpu in the first place. I only OC for giggles and enlarge my epeen on benchmarks when I feel like it. You should never build a pc depending on an OC to get you the performance you need. Enthusiasts might argue that but the amount of time and money they put into it is different than people like you and me.

    The 7770 shouldn't even be considered if you want this to be a gaming machine. It is just too weak and crawls with the newer games.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  21. d1nky

    d1nky

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    ditto that! and yes id suggest the asrock extreme 3 or 4. I owned a 7770 and I cried when it went through 3dmark 2013, it did crawl. (it performed similar to my gts 450 put it that way)!

    I own a low end asus board and have problems ocing, I own the fx4100 and for its money performs and oc well. (contradiction I know) put it like this I had a stable oc of 4.8 for benches etc, but the board and most low end asus (m5) boards throttle down at 100% load ''vrm protection''

    if you can get a modular psu then do it, for cable management and aesthetics, I wouldn't be worried about getting more watts than is needed, if you get an extra 200 watt psu itll give a margin for oc and xfire. edit: someone said seasonic, xfx also rebrands the seasonic psu. I read that seasonic help get xfx started with psu's. and theyre lower cost and good performers. http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story3&reid=225

    if you enter uk pc components into google itll come up with the best retailers in the uk. ive added most to my favourites.

    and btw I paid about £650 for my rig. and it does well and gives me room to upgrade etc
     
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  22. LemurHaloEcho

    LemurHaloEcho New Member

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    Thankyou guys for everything so far, i now understand PSU's thanks to Tokyo! ;) (BTW, calculated that with a 7850 running at maximum of 144w and CPU running at 125w, a 500w psu with 408w on the 12v gives me 139w of Safety Headroom!)

    I'm now on that dubious and far-from-ever-over part of choosing a motherboard, and as mentioned in my edited first post, i have an idea of what's good and what's not, but for the purposes of NOT Overclocking and only a 1/10 chance of ever using CrossFire, what's my current idea like for the purposes of long-life, stability, safety and compatibility?
     
  23. Kwod New Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you Lemur....I'm a gamer that values stability over temporary max performance{but props to all you petrol heads:toast:}, so I also need a mobo and don't know what to get.

    I suspect that something like one of these would be fine, but bare in mind I'd be using a xonar DG for sound as my onboard sound sux hard.....

    http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=177&bid=2&sid=89527

    ASROCK Z77 4....$134AUD

    http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=177&bid=2&sid=89537

    ASROCK Z77 6...$165


    http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=177&bid=2&sid=89552

    ASROCK Performance $150AUD

    http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=177&bid=2&sid=89357

    ASUS P877 V $193

    http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=177&bid=2&sid=89372

    ASUS PRO $225

    So how does a mid range gamer choose one of these?

    I also have to fit 2 PCI cards, ie, a sound card and a HDTV capture, so I need 2 free PCI slots.
     
  24. tokyoduong

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    ASUS for motherboards is probably your best choice. Intel boards are excellent too if they still make them. Since ASUS is the dominant motherboard maker and sell the most boards, they will probably have a longer support cycle and there's a bigger community out there when you need help troubleshooting something.

    SLI/CF:
    1. Great when it actually scales well
    2. 2x the cost
    3. Almost 2x power consumption
    4. Known to be unreliable(drivers). You'll need to wait for drivers to catch up after game comes out.
    5. Need to substantially upgrade PSU.
    6. Stuttering still an issue
    7. 2 GB+ 2GB = 2GB. data is VRAM is duplicated across all the cards.
    8. Twice the failure, twice the space, twice the heat
    9. Some poorly designed cards can blow heat directly onto each other.
    10. Really high synthetic benchmark scores

    Conclusion: Unless a 7950 or 670 does not meet your needs, there's no point in doing it.
     
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  25. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    Look at my system specs. Everything I have is highly recommended at a great price. Enjoy. :toast:
     
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