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Buying a new modern pc in the next few weeks. Need some advice.

boco77

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#1
Ok I'm planning to replace this ancient computer with a much more modern one.

Firstly here's a few things I've pretty much decided on:

I plan on getting a system with the latest specs but am a bit confused with how far I should go with a few things.

Basically I'll be using it for movies, games and surfing, multitasking, big spreadsheets, extracting large files. I want it to be future proof for at least 4-5 years and have no plan on overclocking it as I'm not into PC gaming hugely and it wouldn't benefit me in the long term.


I will be getting the system from Overclockers pre built using their online system configurator for a "Intel Gaming PC" System Configuration - Overclockers UK http://www.overclockers.co.uk/syscon_int.php?prodid=FS-291-OK

Don't wanna build it myself and it just saves the hassle. I know it will be more expensive this way but I'd rather pay extra for the convenience.

I plan on getting this spec

NZXT Phantom Enthusiast USB3.0 Full Tower Case - Black
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50GHz with Prolimatech Lynx CPU Cooler
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H Intel Z77 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard
OCZ ZS Series 750W PSU
Adata XPG Gaming v1.0 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz C9 Dual Channel Kit
GeForce GTX 660TI 2048MB GDDR5
Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD
Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RP
DVD writer


How is this system? I'm not sure on a few things.

Will the motherboard work well with the rest of those components or should I choose a different one?

What about the graphics card? Is it a good, decent card for the price? I don't want to spend like £400 on one as they go so out of date fast, but I would like a system that plays all the latest games at a decent clip. I dont really know much about graphics cards tbh but the GTX TI660 seems a good choice for a modern day card? Nvidia the way to go generally speaking?

One other thing I'm looking for is that the computer system must have at least 1 USB 3.0 port at the FRONT. The ones I see always have USB 3.0 at the back. Preferably two 3.0's at the front. I'm surprised they are so hard to find in this configuration? What case would be ideal for this in the link above? The case I've selected seems to have 1 USB 3.0 at the front but would like two of them at the front tbh.

What PSU power supply should I get with it? Like I said I dont plan to overclock it or add more inside later on. I'm sticking to this machine and wont be crossfiring. is 750w overkill for the components above?

Lastly it would be nice if there is a way to hook this pc up which will be upstairs to my tv downstairs. Is there a way to do this without a long trail HDMI going downstairs?

What are these wireless 1080p HDMI receivers like?

http://www.amazon.co_uk/dp/B005K2RG64/?tag=tec053-21

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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#2
The GPU is nice. I might go a lil' higher if you are not gonna upgrade for 4 years. As for the PSU look into a Seasonic Gold. If you don't want a Seasonic thats fine just make sure whatever you get its "Gold" standard. DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE PSU. Its the most important part of any rig.
 

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#3
I agree with TheMailMan. :eek:

I'm not too sure how good the OCZ PSU's are now days. Check the techpowerup PSU reviews here: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/?category=Power+Supplies&manufacturer=&pp=25&order=date

Everything else looks great though, you may be able to get a HD 7950 for around the same price as the 660Ti depending on your location.

As far as the wireless HDMI, there really isn't very much information in terms of reviews. I would stay away from it for now if possible.
 
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#4
DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE PSU. Its the most important part of any rig.
lol. If you say so.. I think that's a load tbh.. I use a 600 watt ultra psu on my system, been using it for years AFTER my OCZ "nocheapy" failed.... Psu is the one thing you can go cheap on imo..

If it's a cheapy brand, just get a little more powerful than what you need..

How do people even say the psu is the most important? Yea, nvm the gpu, cpu and mobo that took years of design work to build.. Psu is at the bottom of the list.
 
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#6
Are HD7950's regarded better than the 660TI's then?
They are both great cards man. Personally I like NVIDIA better right now. However the 7950 is a great card. I would get whatever you can find cheaper. You can't lose with either card. With that being said you might wanna look at a 670 or a 680 if you have the cash just because you don't wanna upgrade for a while. That rig you posted is super nice man. It will last you a good while. Just don't skimp on the PSU like I said. A bad PSU can really screw up stability or worse, fry stuff.

lol. If you say so.. I think that's a load tbh.. I use a 600 watt ultra psu on my system, been using it for years AFTER my OCZ "nocheapy" failed.... Psu is the one thing you can go cheap on imo..

If it's a cheapy brand, just get a little more powerful than what you need..

How do people even say the psu is the most important? Yea, nvm the gpu, cpu and mobo that took years of design work to build.. Psu is at the bottom of the list.
Good to know. Thanks for the input.
 

cadaveca

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#7
lol. If you say so.. I think that's a load tbh.. I use a 600 watt ultra psu on my system, been using it for years AFTER my OCZ "nocheapy" failed.... Psu is the one thing you can go cheap on imo..

If it's a cheapy brand, just get a little more powerful than what you need..

How do people even say the psu is the most important? Yea, nvm the gpu, cpu and mobo that took years of design work to build.. Psu is at the bottom of the list.
Once you get into serious overclocking, trying to reach "world records", it quickly becomes painfully obvious how important the PSU really is. WIthout having that expereince, I can understand why you'd feel that way, but if you take a look at any serious LN2 clocker, you'll see they use multiple PSUs, and it's really not because they need 2400 Watts of power...it's becuase if you stress teh PSU less, the line regulation is far better, which leads to cleaner power, which leads to higher clocks.


"Dirty" power will make a PC die faster, and that's a fact. Crazyeyesreaper got a bad Corsair unit, lost 2 VGAs, a couple of harddrives, and very nearly his sanity.

And throug hthat all, I told him to stick it out, figure out the problem...he thought it was the motherboard, and to all appearances, it might ahve appeared that way...until Crazy got back a Corsair PSU with a 24-pin conenctor so badly made it didn't fit the socket properly.

Thermaltake stepped up to the plate, gave Crazy a decent PSU, and the same rig, that appeared to have a bad motherboard, is still kicking it today.


I'd attribute about 20% of "failed" parts due to bad power, 10% to quality issues, 10% to shipping damage, and 60% to user error. Nearly 90% of RMAs are perfectly working parts, and some other part in the rig is the problem.
 
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#8
well, petedread bought prebuilt from ocuk and the machine was thrown together... by my standards...

it burnt out a little after 4-6months, and they didnt want to know saying it was his fault...

he didnt have any of the hardware box's to rma the parts and didnt know how to even go about buying anti static bags and boxing...

he's been without a rig now for nearly 4 months and thats after spending £2500+ with ocuk...

ive personally bought thousands of £££ worth of hardware from them and scan among many others but petedreads experiance has really left a bad taste in my mouth...

they really took advantage of him with leading questions so that he dug himself a hole when it came to rma'ind with them...

by the time i got to his house there was nothing i could do...

just be careful...

the psu is the most important part of your rig as it supplies the juice that keeps your other parts alive... bad juice = blown hardware... so dont skimp out... personally i wouldnt go with ocz..

seasonic and corsair are the psu's of choice right now... and a 3570 would be a better choice if your not a power user...
 
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#9
Once you get into serious overclocking, trying to reach "world records", it quickly becomes painfully obvious how important the PSU really is. WIthout having that expereince, I can understand why you'd feel that way, but if you take a look at any serious LN2 clocker, you'll see they use multiple PSUs, and it's really not because they need 2400 Watts of power...it's becuase if you stress teh PSU less, the line regulation is far better, which leads to cleaner power, which leads to higher clocks.


"Dirty" power will make a PC die faster, and that's a fact. Crazyeyesreaper got a bad Corsair unit, lost 2 VGAs, a couple of harddrives, and very nearly his sanity.

And throug hthat all, I told him to stick it out, figure out the problem...he thought it was the motherboard, and to all appearances, it might ahve appeared that way...until Crazy got back a Corsair PSU with a 24-pin conenctor so badly made it didn't fit the socket properly.

Thermaltake stepped up to the plate, gave Crazy a decent PSU, and the same rig, that appeared to have a bad motherboard, is still kicking it today.


I'd attribute about 20% of "failed" parts due to bad power, 10% to quality issues, 10% to shipping damage, and 60% to user error. Nearly 90% of RMAs are perfectly working parts, and some other part in the rig is the problem.
We could debate this all day... A lot of "step down" brands are just repackaged other bands.. Again My Expensive psu died but my Ultra has not.. My benchamrks are just as good as anyone else with my hardware..
What's mroe important? define important..
Ok, complicated to build.. In what order are pc components difficult to build? The psu is easily last in place..
To me that alone proves it is not the MOST important part of a rig..
 
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#10
A cheap PSU could break tomorrow or it could never break.

If it does break it could go down quietly or bring everything down with it.

Is that risk really worth saving $20?
 
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#11
We could debate this all day... A lot of "step down" brands are just repackaged other bands.. Again My Expensive psu died but my Ultra has not.. My benchamrks are just as good as anyone else with my hardware..
What's mroe important? define important..
Ok, complicated to build.. In what order are pc components difficult to build? The psu is easily last in place..
To me that alone proves it is not the MOST important part of a rig..
Power to any electronic no matter how complicated is hands down the most important element. Good clean power means long life and stability. I'm glad your lil' Ultra PSU is doing good for you. But it doesn't nullify what is a known fact of anything engineered to use electricity. Really man just stop. This isnt helping the OP.
 
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#12
We could debate this all day... A lot of "step down" brands are just repackaged other bands.. Again My Expensive psu died but my Ultra has not.. My benchamrks are just as good as anyone else with my hardware..
What's mroe important? define important..
Ok, complicated to build.. In what order are pc components difficult to build? The psu is easily last in place..
To me that alone proves it is not the MOST important part of a rig..
When you build a rig to last 4-5 years as the OP is, you need to choose parts that, in my opinion, at the least, have a warranty that lasts that period, or close to it. If an OEM doesn't ahve faith it will last that long...neither do I.

Now, although many PSUs out there are built form the same OEM unit, each brand will customize the parts used inside, as easily seen by looking at any good PSU review. Sites like Johhny Guru, and i am pretty sure TPU, show those important things.

Yes, there are a tonne of good PSUs out there, but, at the same time, buying a PSU to last 4-5 years is very different than buying for someone who upgrades often. The terms "reliability" and "cost over time" matter to some in this regard as well.

See, doing reviews, looking at the components that make up a product is just what I do, unlike many reviewers out there.

I went to school for this stuff, unlike most people, so my opinion on many things is going to differ form those who did not ahve that schooling, and are just users. Also, I do run my own business building PCs and selling them, although I won't build a rig to sell for less than $1250. If I cheap out on a PSU, that means I'l lahve to replace the broken bits..not nice to the wallet, let me tell you.

$1250!?! you say? Yes, because I demand that what I build is built with quality parts, with no compromises. If that's too much money, then I don't build the rig, and I have no problem telling people so.

And yes, we could argue about this all day long, but, at the same time, I'd be right, and you'd be wrong, so I won't bother arguing. It doesn't matter to me who is right or wrong, jsut that users get all the info possible. People can listen to you..or me..doesn't matter to me. People can buy a cheap PSU, or a great one..doesn't really matter to me...

now, of course, we could get a real electrical engineer in here, one who specialized is microprocessor and transitor design, and THEY could explain to you exactly why I give the advice I do about buying PSUs, I guess, but I am not that person.


Either way, I'm gonna keep on testing hardware and doing reviews.
 

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#13
Faster ram, you can skimp on tolerances. 2133Mhz if you can get them, 1866Mhz sticks are fine too.
 
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#14
Are HD7950's regarded better than the 660TI's then?
It depends. Out of the box there's not much of a difference especially if you game on 1080p.
The thing that worries me about the 660Ti is that the performance is all over the place depending on the games. For example in Metro it's worse than my 570. The 7950 has a great potential if you are comfortable with overclocking and given the fact that AMD has some good "Gaming Evolved" titles it will shine there. On the other hand the 660Ti comes with Borderlands 2 and some PhysX.
 
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#15
cadaveca's right, ive had the customer insist on a cheaper psu and ive lived to regret it...
after youve seen a few go, you see the importance...

so take advantage of the proffesional advice you get visiting this forum...

i charge £££ an hour for this information and i suspect cadavaca isnt cheap...

so take heed, always buy a decent psu...

also use a pc power calculator to get an idea of the power your going to need....

in a system that uses 500w, an 80+ 750w psu would be ideal and the most economic...

good luck...
 
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#16
I can't say I agree with MailMan, were it a hardcore gaming-specific rig, maybe, but even then a Gold PSU and 670 vs 660 are not necessary depending on use. Were he folding a lot or playing a lot of long gaming sessions expecting max settings on even high resource games and concerned about electricity use, I could see it, but a silver rated PSU does just fine and gives you more power per dollar. Once you step up to silver, the efficiency is pretty close to gold, and you can find a lot of silver ones at a decent price with good components. Also, the kind of gaming he's describing is that of a gamer whom doesn't always shoot for max settings, and often are the type that don't like a lot of some of the FPS draining effects, like blur.

As for exceeding a 660, it's an entry level high end card, and he clearly said he's not hugely into gaming. In fact given the multi-purpose nature of his use description, I argue whether anything in the shown spec should be upgraded as far as gaming components, and rather putting money into the multi tasking end. It sounds like more of a PC you'd use in a home office or den than gaming room, with occasional vs regular gaming use. He might want to consider for instance a 6 core CPU such as Bulldozer and a larger HDD, like the 3TB Seagate, which is fast and quiet and good at large file transfers.

As for the Intel SSD, anymore they are not the way to go, and when they were, it was back when they were more reliable, but even then, you had to be willing to pay way more. The 330 only has a SandForce controller, which is fairly fast when new, but once they get half or more full, they slow down and degrade considerably in performance and reliability. The best SATA III SSDs in an affordable price range are the Samsung 830 and Crucial M4, the former using it's own controller, the latter the Marvell controller. These are the most reliable controllers. Plextor's M3 Pro is probably the best, but costs more. The M3 Pro uses the Marvell as well, but Plextor's own proprietary firmware with it to make TRIM more efficient.

I can't stress enough that you cannot judge SSDs by the manufacturer's specs. Read reviews on them that include torture tests. You don't know until you read the torture tests how they can range in performance. An SSDs performance can drop considerably just making semi large common writes to the page file for instance. A Plextor M3 Pro 128GB will certainly cost you more, but you'll get more consistently fast speeds out of it, vs waiting for the drive to TRIM while the system is idle to get good speeds. If the system is going to double as a workstation, this could be a real time saver.

That said, the system configurator exampled is woefully short on options, and one of the biggest reasons to avoid prebuilts. Is it more convenient, yes, but that little amount of time you save is invested on a rig you will have for YEARS, so it's worth it to spend a little time piecing together something yourself and getting the best components that match your needs, vs making big compromises that affect performance for years out of short lived convenience.

A final word on gaming performance and settings. CrapDaddy has commented before that the 570 beats the 660 on Metro. On Very High at 1920x1200 it does, but just barely according to TPU. However, I've seen benches at High vs Very High settings, the 660 does quite a bit better. Many people use High or a file edit with Very High to turn off the blur because the heavy blur Very High uses has an extremely negative effect on image sharpness.

GTX 570 at 58 FPS playing Metro on High
http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Radeon-HD-7870-and-7850-GPU-Previews/?page=8

660 Ti at 73 FPS playing Metro on High
http://hothardware.com/Reviews/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-660-Ti-Round-Up-MSI-EVGA-Gigabyte-Zotac/?page=7

The bottom line is, max settings and the top shelf GPUs used for them don't tell the whole story. It's a luxury you pay a fair bit more for, and is not always used depending on the needs and preferences of the player. There's also the fact that Maxwell will be out in a couple years, which is projected by Nvidia to be quite a bit more powerful than Kepler. If you really do take 4-5 years to upgrade, even Maxwells will probably be very affordable by then, and meanwhile that 10% difference between the 660 and 670 won't hugely cripple your gaming as some are claiming.

In fact, lets compare apples to apples here, because many are comparing non ref 660 prices to ref 670 prices, many of the latter of which have had heat and OCing issues. Non ref 660s start at $285 if you look at the deals that have been going. Non ref 670s are still around $380 even WITH the deals. That's 33% more for 10% more performance, and you only notice that 10% IF you expect to play high resource games with max settings, which often means less image sharpness.

There's also the fact that an increasing number of game engines are being designed for more efficiency due to being adapted for multi-platform use, including Crysis AND Metro. GSC have already said Metro: Last Light will be quite a bit more optimized than Metro 2033 was, and they have shown demos to exemplify it. I'm all for people that have a hobby and/or tendency to get the very best gaming hardware they can afford, it's part of what keeps devs interested in making beautiful games. We also have to be realists though and understand that what's appropriate for some, isn't for others.
 
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#17

boco77

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#18
Thanks for the responses. I think I'll stick with the 660TI card.

I still can't decide whether to get 8gb ram or 16gb. I heard you only need 16gb if you do video editing.

Also I forgot to mention the computer will be hooked up to a 40" Sony 1080p tv as the main screen so resolutions any higher with graphics cards would be impossible so I'm guessing I should get excellent framerates with that configuration at 1080p.

It would be nice though to somehow get a connection from the pc to my downstairs 55" LED Samsung TV D7000 wirelessly or something. Streaming is possible I know but what about gaming wirelssly to it?
 

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#19
PSU is the life force of a machine- if its not working right neither are your parts

cadaveca's right, ive had the customer insist on a cheaper psu and ive lived to regret it...
after youve seen a few go, you see the importance...

so take advantage of the proffesional advice you get visiting this forum...

i charge £££ an hour for this information and i suspect cadavaca isnt cheap...

so take heed, always buy a decent psu...

also use a pc power calculator to get an idea of the power your going to need....

in a system that uses 500w, an 80+ 750w psu would be ideal and the most economic...

good luck...
 

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#20
We could debate this all day... A lot of "step down" brands are just repackaged other bands.. Again My Expensive psu died but my Ultra has not.. My benchamrks are just as good as anyone else with my hardware..
What's mroe important? define important..
Ok, complicated to build.. In what order are pc components difficult to build? The psu is easily last in place..
To me that alone proves it is not the MOST important part of a rig..
You could argue that gas in a car isn't the most important thing in a car.... Until you run out of it... I agree with MM as well. The PSU is the most important thing in a pc. Do you know what a Kickass computer is without a PSU?.. A door stop.. ;)

OP: Everything looks good but like suggested I'd go with a good PSU with a fat single 12v rail.
 
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#21
lol. If you say so.. I think that's a load tbh.. I use a 600 watt ultra psu on my system, been using it for years AFTER my OCZ "nocheapy" failed.... Psu is the one thing you can go cheap on imo..

If it's a cheapy brand, just get a little more powerful than what you need..

How do people even say the psu is the most important? Yea, nvm the gpu, cpu and mobo that took years of design work to build.. Psu is at the bottom of the list.
Its not a load of BS. Its true. DO NOT CHEAP OUT ON A PSU. MORE EXPENSIVE THE BETTER.

Even if the cheaper one has high wattage doesn't mean its supplying the listed wattage and supplying it with stability.
 
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#22
Cheap PSUs are fine for low end rigs. Heck, if you're not OCing even a low mid range rig would be fine running on a cheap PSU (90w CPU, 120w GPU, 2 DIMMs, a couple of drives, a handful of fans). But with PSUs such as the Antec Earthwatts 380w going for as little as $40 you've got to wonder if the saved 15 bucks aren't worth the peace of mind.

Cheap PSUs often forgo safety measures as overcurrent and overvoltage protection so connecting them directly to the grid isn't advisable and you can't just throw hardware at them without thinking because of said lack of protection. A quality PSU would likely turn off if you go above their safety limits but a cheap PSU will go and go until it burns often taking components with them. Plus more often than not their advertised wattage is way "exagerated". I've seen "600w" units with 25A@5V, 25A@3.3V, 18A@12v :laugh: (hint: total max wattage is 423w, not counting crossload which reduces the actual maximum).

Now 80plus isn't really required though; unless you're running with extremely high loads for extended periods of time (>700w 24/7) you won't likely notice the change on your power bill. Besides the 80plus group doesn't go and grab retail units, they are cherry picked by the manufactured and sent to certification so...

Still 80plus certified PSU are (often) based on more modern designs so that might be a good reason to get one.
 
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#23
I'm not trying to get in the middle of the PSU debate here. I just want to say that personally, I would never cheap out on the PSU. Especailly if it was for my personal computer.
 

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#24
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#25
On PSUs, I don't go cheap or crazy expensive. Whatever happened to moderation?

It's as if most arguing the point here don't see that the majority of PSUs fall in a wide range that encompasses something between cheap and expensive.

My PSU is silver rated, 850w, and one of few that has received a 10/10 performance rating on jonnyGURU, and was only $135.

You just don't need a $200 gold rated PSU for the average gaming rig, esp with today's small die, low watt processors. Conversely you don't want to put the lowest priced crap in there either.